We had the good fortune of connecting with Margaux Fischer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Margaux, why did you pursue a creative career?
My passion for photography started at twelve years old. My dad let me get a disposable camera at the store and he told me about the rule of thirds and the importance of light in photographs. I walked around a Pennsylvania farm that afternoon snapping photos and couldn’t wait to get the film developed. I was hooked after that and had stacks and stacks of photos, but it wasn’t until my dad passed away in 2012 that the importance of photographs really hit me. When he was gone, I found myself searching through pictures looking for any that would bring me back to memories of his voice, his laugh, the smell of his cigars and aftershave…I was desperate to hold onto all of the memories of him that I was sure would fade with time, but that could live on in photographs of him and bring me back to those moments.
I had my oldest daughter shortly after my dad passed away and I received a Nikon as a gift. As parents often do, I became obsessed with capturing every tiny detail of her as I knew the dimpled hands would one day grow, the chubby thighs would lengthen and lean and these photos would be my reminder of how cruel time is, forcing us forward, changing and aging everyone while details and moments are left behind. I learned to use that Nikon in a frantic state of wanting to preserve all of her. Then one day, a friend asked if I would take family photos for her and I realized I could actually make money doing something that I had always poured so much of myself and my emotions into.
I guess that was a very long winded way of me saying that my WHY is because I truly believe photographs are the most important tangible things we can hold in our hands. One day you’ll wake up and someone you love will no longer exist in this reality and all you will have of them are memories that will fade and the photographs you keep.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Oh man, being “set apart” is such a challenge these days. I think social media has had such an impact on photography as a career and it looks completely different today than it did ten years ago. People constantly have photos scrolling in front of their faces and they all start to look the same after a while. The bar has been set so high and the expectations people have of us has brought at lot of anxiety, at least for me, into it as well. In my opinion, the only way to set yourself apart is the experience you’re giving to your clients and the passion that you pour into it. I’ve had people tell me that I have a way of capturing emotions in my photos, which is the best compliment ever as that is why I started this career in the first place, so I would say that’s what sets me apart.
The thing I’m most proud of is how far I’ve come. I’ve completely shifted my perspective. Where I used to be so concerned with photos being good technically-faces perfectly in focus, etc-I’ve realized that doesn’t always matter. What matters are the moments I’m capturing for people. When they look back at these photos years from now, what will matter the most to them is what was happening in that moment and the memories it brigs back, not whether their eyes were in focus or not. I’m excited of finding new ways of documenting pieces of people’s lives, of digging deeper and bringing more of who they are into the photos that I take. I’m proud that I’m no longer fearful of taking a bad photo, I’m more in line with my passion to capture what my clients are feeling in that moment.
The challenge in this industry for me has been getting to a place of trust with my clients and with myself. I used to write down specific prompts and poses before shoots because I didn’t trust myself. My clients used to show up expecting very traditional photos and I didn’t trust myself to give them what I was really passionate about creating. I’m finally at a place where I have the most amazing clients and they show up with full trust in me and will go with anything I throw their way…even if they’re looking at me like I’m insane because I’m literally rolling around on the ground.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to put my blinders on. To have tunnel vision for what I’m creating without comparing myself to my peers. There’s always going to be better photos, better ideas, better locations, so I’m just consistently asking myself if I’m creating work that speaks to who I am and what I want for my clients. If I want the world to know anything about me and my brand, it’s that I am giving one hundred percent of myself to them in those moments that we are photographing. I care more than they’ll ever know about the moments they trust me to hold in time for them. This is not just a job to me, I know the weight of what I’m creating for them, whether they realize it themselves or not, and I don’t take it lightly.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
oohhh fun! I worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years so my absolute favorite thing to do is go out for food and drinks. All of my travels are built around where I’ll be eating, I’ll book restaurant reservations before I’ve even booked a hotel!
So that in mind, a rough itinerary would include morning hikes, the Rose in Venice for breakfast, go to the beach and take some sandwiches from Bay Cities (the best sandwiches I’ve ever had) with us for lunch then go to Gjelina’s for dinner and walk around Venice and pop into wherever looks fun for after dinner drinks. I’d also take them to the LACMA one day, I just took my kids there recently for the first time and they LOVED it, then Casablanca for dinner, they make the best margaritas and have a cart that makes them table side, and their fish tacos are to die for. We would also go on bike rides, if there were any good concerts in town we’d definitely do that as well. We would do a fancier dinner one night at Lucky’s in Malibu or G. Baldi. Some other favorites are Tasting Kitchen, Mao’s in Venice is great Chinese food (it’s also BYOB so you save on not having to buy expensive drinks), and of course Sugarfish I could eat every day for the rest of my life. My favorite part of LA is that there’s no shortage of great restaurant options!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Everything I do is because of and for my two girls, Evey and Wyn.