We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie Lafranque and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am originally from France, although we moved to California when I was only 16 years old, so I’ve been here for a long time now!
I moved a lot as a child and young adult, I had the “travel bug” so to speak, given to me by my mom. We had lived in France, Spain, Canada and USA by the time I was 16, and I continued her moving spree by living all across the state from San Francisco to San Diego, and doing my studies in Chicago at Loyola University, and then traveling through all of America selling my art at different galleries and conventions.
That traveling background has given me the ability to adapt to any situation very easily, I love impromptu shoots, last minute changes, and the chaos of a big photo production. It really is one of my favorite things in the world, and I do think that my ever changing childhood set me up for success. I love people, getting to know them, making them feel beautiful and that ease really helps my work.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a photographer, but it took me a while to find out that I was meant to be a photographer. When I finished College I turned to making art, I was painting with oils and doing cut paper collages, and having a great time selling my art. I didn’t think about photography, and while I modeled for friends who were going to photography school I wasn’t necessarily very interested in learning that art form.
But then… I became a mom, and everything art related took the back burner. After my daughter turned 2 years old, a friend of mine encouraged me to try out photography as an outlet, just something to get back the “me” instead of just being “mom”. He knew I was busy and that painting just wasn’t something that I could devote my time to, but photography was something that I could do while parenting: taking snapshots as we played outside, meeting other friends and taking their family photos while the kids played together during the lulls… And honestly, it was just love at first click.
The learning of the art was both easy and frustrating, as anything you love tends to be.
I think the biggest lesson I had to learn was showing my own voice in my photos. When you start learning an art form you start by copying first. And that’s great, and really, it’s how it’s supposed to go, but once you’ve copied enough and you know how to achieve the results, it’s time to find your own style, and that can be daunting.
The first time I had an original idea for a shoot and guided it to fruition from beginning to end was just the best feeling in the world. The fact that it got picked up immediately for publication was just the icing on the cake.
Now I can’t stop, I’m always thinking of another shoot, of which other professionals I can bring into my circle to create wonderful things together. It’s just so much fun!
I organize everything, from clothing, styling, to location scouting. I’m not just a photographer I’m a whole design team all by myself, and I rely on the best professionals to help me create my vision.
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?
I love my neighborhood Los Feliz, we have some amazing little restaurants, like the Alcove, Home, and Maru for morning coffee, we would have a blast exploring each place and going to Griffith Park on hikes every day. Hikes to the Observatory with a lunch at Trails Cafe would be included in those excursions. We would have to go explore Malibu early in the morning, and eat lunch at Edo in Beverly Hills with a leisurely afternoon exploring the shops of Beverly Hills.
I would definitely take her to Old Town Pasadena as I love all the architecture there, and of course we couldn’t avoid a visit of the Hollywood sign!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As corny as it sounds my husband, Bobby Field, is the key to my success. Without him I wouldn’t have achieved half of the things I have the last few years, he’s been my rock and my biggest cheerleader. I am so grateful to him. The amazing thing about our family is that we are both artists, him as a writer/director/editor/musician (he really is a jack of all trades) and me as a photographer, so while our art is completely different from one another, we can still ask one another pointers whenever we hit that blank page, or when we need a little push.
The other person who really led me to where I am now is the photographer Skye Hardwick Edmonds, her workshops that I went to when I was just starting out as a photographer, were key to helping me find what I was passionate about!
Marie Lafranque Photography