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Maryana – A Cleveland Portrait Session

I believe that I was born to create. As a kid, I would count down the minutes until art class when I could get lost in my latest project. I liked getting messy, and it didn’t matter to me if anyone understood what I made, as long as I was proud. Before I had ever used a camera, I knew that art and creativity would be a huge part of what my life would become. I remember sitting at the plastic table in the corner of our dining room when I was only 3 or 4 making Sesame Street sand art with my mom and when my dad taught me how to use his old cameras in our backyard. I always had a new hobby – jewelry making, watercolor painting, songwriting – you name it, I tried it. For me, creating was about freedom. It didn’t have anything to do with reading books or memorizing answers for a test. I wasn’t graded, no one told me I was doing it wrong. It was something for me to be proud of.

As I’ve grown older, that feeling has only gotten stronger. I fell in love with experimental videography in college, and I still make short videos that no one will ever see, because they’re for me to be proud of. But my world truly expanded when I discovered how much I loved photography.

Over the past year or so, I’ve realized that I’m creating so much less for myself than I ever have. I’ve gotten to meet and work with so many great clients, and I’ve taken photos that I’m so ridiculously proud of. But I’ve lost a little bit of the art that made me fall in love with photography all those years ago. Creating for myself means taking photos around the house, or experimenting with new techniques. It’s creating content that may never see the light of day and being totally okay with that, because it’s just for me.

So right now, I’m promising myself that in between the sessions that I’m so excited about this year, I’m going to create things that

inspire me.
people may not understand.
get a little weird.

This was my start.

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