LET'S TALK ABOUT GENUINE INCLUSION
Ya'll know when someone says, "Everyone is welcome here," but it's more like "everyone who looks exactly like us"?
Or when a company shouts 'inclusivity' from the rooftops, but their ads look like a cast photo from Friends?
Or when a photographer touts being all about diversity and inclusivity, but their portfolio looks more like a catalog for beige paint samples?
Yea, all that talk about inclusion and diversity immediately goes out the window as soon as you sense anything less than genuine.
And, I'm not saying that I've got diversity and inclusion all figured out, but I can honestly say that they're core principles for me — not only within my photography business but in all aspects of my life.
I am constantly striving to be more inclusive in my business, with the couples I work with, and in the art that I create.
I genuinely want every couple seeking a photographer to feel not just welcome, but embraced in front of my camera lens. I'm committed to not just capturing but understanding each couple's unique love story, ensuring it's authentically and accurately reflected in the photos we create together.
I want everyone I collaborate with to feel the worth and validity of their love, to recognize the beauty in their unique skin tone, and to understand that every love story, including theirs, is not just worthy but deserving of being told.
EVERY LOVE STORY IS NOT JUST WORTH TELLING BUT ABSOLUTELY
DESERVING OF CELEBRATION
Over the last several years, numerous prospective clients have highlighted their interest in my services because of my commitment to diversity and inclusion. They've kindly noted my ability to capture couples with diverse skin tones and represent colors accurately in my photographs.
It's particularly rewarding when past clients leave reviews excitedly saying that I nailed their skin tones and made them feel safe and comfortable in front of my camera.
Below are some excerpts from inquiries I've received and reviews from past clients:
"We've never had great photos taken of us. They're always super posed or edited weirdly, and I can't STAND the not true-to-skin-tone photos. Your photos made me cry!"
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PHOTOS?: "Your skill set of photographing couples with different skin tones!"
"We love your photography style and appreciate how you are able to capture beauty in different skin tones and bodies. [We are a] biracial [couple] and have struggled to find someone who could capture that in us rather than edit or brighten it out."
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PHOTOS?: "I love the True Tone colors and the personality that comes through in the pictures!"
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PHOTOS?: "I am obsessed with your ‘True Tone’ promise! We are Arizona-based, and all the photographers out here love to put this dark orange filter on the photos ... there are very few true color photographers I have found that I love."
WHAT ABOUT ME OR MY WORK SPEAKS TO YOU?: "You take nice pics with diverse folks and seem like you can catch the curls in their moment. I have a big head with a lot of curly hair and it needs to look good. I also used to be a social worker and you use very inclusive language which is refreshing."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It was important to us (an interracial couple) for our photographer to be inclusive. We could tell from Marissa's page that inclusivity (photographing people with all skin tones and photographing all love) was important to her, which helped put us at ease.
JAMES + ZOE
"We are also an interracial couple (one of us white and the other black) so we appreciated seeing other skin tones you’d worked with."
WHAT ABOUT ME OR MY WORK SPEAKS TO YOU?: "I love how you seem to be very inclusive of different skin tones and colors."
WHAT ABOUT ME OR MY WORK SPEAKS TO YOU?: "The color temperature that you use captures skin tone perfectly. I don't want my skin to look unnatural in photos."
WHAT ABOUT ME OR MY WORK SPEAKS TO YOU?: "I like how your Instagram page is very welcoming for everyone."
WHAT ABOUT ME OR MY WORK SPEAKS TO YOU?: "Openness to work with diverse couples"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
What drew us to Marissa is that not only that she is a fabulous photographer that shoots both editorial and candid styles, but that she has wonderful examples of shooting a wide range of skin tones, and most importantly multiracial couples! It was very important for us to both look like ourselves and not washed out or oversaturated in our wedding and engagement photos. Not only did she knock those things out of the park, but she was warm and enjoyable to be around.
DUSTIN + ALEXIS
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Marissa is everything and more when it comes to kindness, direction, authenticity, and an overall organic nature. My girlfriend and I appreciate [her] making us feel loved 🏳️🌈, safe, and FLY during our shoot.
GABRIELLA + JESSICA
Now, I don't share the above excerpts to say, "Look how inclusive I am!" but to show you that I'm sincere in my desire to make others feel included and seen. I can tell you about my genuine intent, but actual words from real couples bring it to life.
As you read these excerpts, learn about me and my values, and see my work, I hope you sense the authenticity.
I'm sure there will be times when despite my best efforts, I might not get everything right. I'm always receptive to feedback and open to correction if I unintentionally fall short in promoting inclusivity and diversity. And, let's be real ... there might be instances where I don't quite nail it in my photos. That's where my True Tone Promise™ comes in.
Your skin tone is beautiful. Whether you have more of a peaches-and-cream complexion, are fair-skinned with cool undertones, or are blessed with lots of melanin, your pigmentation is gorgeous.
You're not going to enjoy and share your photos if you're looking like a Cheeto in every single image. You deserve photos in which your complexion is true to life. I promise to my clients that your skin tone will be accurately represented in your photos.
If, by any chance, you're not thrilled with how your skin looks in the final edited images, I'll happily re-edit them until you're satisfied.