The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Marielle Sales
Photographer: Marielle Sales
Location: I’m currently based in Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Queens but grew up in New Jersey. Now that I live in the city, I escape to Jersey for some peace and quiet (and fresh air). I like the refreshing balance of bouncing from the busy city to the ‘burbs.
Style: My photography style is always evolving as I learn more about my craft. I’m drawn to photographing people and places, and while doing so, I pay attention to colors, shadows, composition, and how the subject is lit. I try to capture raw emotions and people in their natural element.
I think I developed this natural and honest style when my digital camera broke a few years ago. Luckily I had a Canon AE-1 film camera (that was collecting dust in my room) so I was forced to strictly use that. After getting my roll back, I found that I loved the challenge of making images count and got a sense of fulfillment seeing my thinking patterns converted into pictures. For me, shooting with film has always been the most authentic way of showing my vision.
Equipment: For personal work, I love shooting with my film camera - whether it's a point and shoot or SLR. For digital, I’ve always used Canon and love a good 50mm or 24-70mm lens, and sometimes a flash (natural light is my best friend.) Post-editing is pretty simple, I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to make my selects, crop, and edit colors (without making it look too edited).
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
I don’t try to force it if I’m not feeling it. I just go with my instinct.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
I was first introduced to photography by my older cousin. She would visit us from LA and I noticed that she had a camera. I thought it looked cool, so I asked my parents to get me a Sony Cybershot in 6th grade. I remember taking my camera to concerts and literally everywhere I went, and then going home and posting the photos on my Xanga (lol s/o photobucket).
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot…
Some of my most memorable photos were from my first time traveling to Japan. Landing in Tokyo at 11 pm was so surreal. Everything I saw was so cinematic - the soft color palette, street lights, little alleyways, and the morning light in my Airbnb. I felt like I was living in a dream and was compelled to take photos of everything.
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
I’m inspired by music, the weather, aimlessly walking around my neighborhood, friends, architecture, colors, driving around, art, traveling, life experiences, current events. Anything.
I’m also motivated by my Asian-American upbringing. Growing up with conservative Filipino parents, they’ve always wanted me to pursue a “real“ career such as becoming a doctor, lawyer, etc. Never did they think I’d drop out of college and make a living in the creative field. Through my work, I’m proving to them that you don’t necessarily need a degree to become successful.
"I don't try to force it if I'm not feeling it. I just go with my instinct."
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
I’m extremely grateful for other creatives who have shown interest in my work and gave me opportunities to work with them. In this industry, it really helps to have a community of like-minded individuals and a mentor who believes in your potential. Whenever I’m on set, I’m always learning something new whether it’s from a production or technical standpoint. I think the most important thing is to take initiative.
Tell us three photography tips.
1) Don’t be afraid to take risks - don’t feel restricted by your routine or today’s standards for photography, try new ideas and different approaches. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know it’s not your thing.
2) Believe in your work and trust the process.
3) Create a mood board or treatment so you have an idea of what you’re shooting and shots you need prior to the shoot.
Finish the sentence...
If I weren’t afraid I would… take a year off and photograph the world.
I wouldn't be where I am today if… I didn’t go through some difficult times.
I've been listening to… Nick Hakim, BADBADNOTGOOD, The Jet Age of Tomorrow, Toro Y Moi.
Kids these days… are always on their phones and look older than me.
I look and feel my best when… I’m creating, surrounded by good company, and get a good night’s sleep.
When no one is looking I… take another bite before packing the leftovers.
Traveling… is essential for your mind and soul.
I respect... people who have patience and persistence in perfecting their craft.