When photographers have and continue to share their time and skills, their hopes, their failures and successes without any desire to receive anything from it, I am eternally grateful. As I have received so much inspiration from others in the photography field who are willing to share their own stories unselfishly, I humbly aspire to do the same.
With a self-employed husband and 8 children, I understand completely the frustration of feeling doubt and wondering where my path may lie. It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur with a large family, and it’s my goal to help you find a way to create happiness wherever it may take you. Whether you are a photographer, artist, baker, creative or not, if you work hard, you can find some (or a lot) measure of success.
Sometimes spur of the moment, more of them are planned in detail with wretched stick figure drawings. Rich colors and contrast as well as a sense of mystery for the theatrical play important roles in my image making. Often, I use movement to create more enigma in my imagery storytelling.
A good conceptual photograph is something that will draw one’s attention, make one think. Like it or not, it will typically make you at least pause and wonder. Many of my photographs are composites, several (or many) images taken in part and added to another. Oft it’s almost impossible to get everything in one shot, so a series of images can assist me in making flowing gowns, a more impressive landscape.
Locations are enhanced or modified or simply captured in an area to make them seem different. Sometimes, they become a new land altogether (as in Makebelieve Island).
Imagination drives me and finding a way to make the concept leave my brain and become concrete always keeps me moving.
If my eldest daughter thinks they’re weird and the other children like them, then I’m usually happy with what I’ve created!
All portraits are shot in a thematic motif.
It’s a little long and apparently confusing. Often times, people think my last name is Claire-Fredette. Or they call me “Mary” or “Marie-Claire” like the magazine. You can call me “Mary-Claire” or “MC”. My pop wanted to name me “Lisa” but my wonderful mom won the name game when Pop saw the aftereffects of Mom’s face after she woke up from being gassed for childbirth. Ah, the good old days…
In 9th grade, I discovered 35 mm film cameras and a darkroom in my photography class at the now defunct Thunder Bay Junior High located in Alpena, Michigan (north of the 45th parallel and on Lake Huron). Upon graduation from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (with a BA in Theatre and Film), I won an award for photography for campus photojournalism.
For years, however, photography played 2nd fiddle to work and family life, relegated to snapshots of children and personal stories. When I stuck my thumb into an integral part of my 35 mm camera and the repair shop explained they didn’t fix old-timey equipment anymore, I purchased a Sony Cybershot.
This camera actually took pretty good photos, and I was really excited about seeing them instantly. It wasn’t until I took a trip to Jamaica that I had some not- good photos. Due to the extreme sun and white beaches, my photos were almost all blown out. Why? I just had to know.
With that question, I delved into learning the hows and whys of digital photography online classes, books, After Dark Education (amazing stuff, been there 6 times), Kelby Training, Creative Live, Photoshop User magazine. Although I wouldn’t say a “monster” has been created, I am sometimes a bit overly excited about an image in process!
I thank God every day for what talent He has given me and for the tenacity to keep plugging away. In addition, none of this would be possible without the amazing and constant support of my husband, Paul. And many thanks to our children (8 of them!) who willingly adventure out with me on our photographic explorations. Peace be with you!