I recently had the chance to shadow Marisa Boras during one of her photo shoots. As I walked into a white washed room with Beyoncé singing in the background, I automatically knew Marisa was a cool photographer and definitely a Lashville woman.
Marisa started her freshman year at Belmont University like most students, uncertain of her next move. She always had a love for music and knew she wanted to be involved in the music industry. Marisa's initial thought was to study music business, but her plans quickly changed when she borrowed her friend's camera for a studio shoot. She likes to say that photography found her.
As Marisa continued to practice her craft, more opportunities came along to showcase her talents. Last year she received the opportunity to fly to New York Fashion Week with a Nashville-based blogger, and this year she interned at Lightning 100, Nashville's Independent Radio Station, and worked as the photographer for Live on the Green where she photographed artists like Dawes, Young The Giant and Andra Day.
She decided to start small to get her photography business running and created a facebook page to advertise it. She didn't charge people until her second year of shooting. Before that she would barter with her clients — a bottle of wine in exchange for a photo shoot. Belmont and its students became a key element in growing her business by word of mouth. As her business and talents grew, she created a website to showcase her portfolio and promote her work.
Marisa's particular passion is for portrait photography, black and white photography, and film. "I love shooting stuff when we can actually see a little bit of someone's soul, something that emits emotion in some sort of way," she says. "I do what I do because they are tangible emotions and bring you back to somewhere."
"Once I started embracing the fact that I identify as a photographer and videographer, that was a big turning point for me," Marisa says. "Identity is so important when it comes to this and having confidence in the work that you do."
Marisa's advice for other Lashville women:
1. Say 'yes' to everything when you're first starting out!
2. Figure out what you like to shoot and what you don't like to shoot.
3. Reach out to other people ("don't worry about them being out of your league").
4. Build a community of fellow photographers!
5. Forget about competition and embrace each other. Work together to build each other up.
6. Don't get discouraged. There will be challenges. Just embrace your craft and identity!
Check out more of Marisa's work: http://www.marisaboras.com/
Thanks for reading!