Amidst the vibrant hues and captivating motion of Marissa Alves‘ photographs, the essence of everyday life comes to life. Through her lens, the professional lifestyle and editorial photographer encapsulates the beauty of ordinary moments, transforming them into visual narratives rich with emotion and color. “I always try to capture things in a natural and organic way,” Alves shares in our recent conversation. “I believe lifestyle images are trying to capture everyday life, but in its most natural state.”
Like the sun’s warm embrace or the earth’s nurturing touch, Alves’ choice of color schemes evokes a sense of familiarity and comfort. “My color schemes are pretty muted with a pop of earth tones,” she explains. “I’ve always gravitated more towards shades of brown.” With an affinity for warm tones and an eye for capturing the perfect moment, Alves has managed to create a distinct style that sets her work apart.
In our interview, she reminisces about her journey into photography, from her mother’s film photos to her high school darkroom experiences. Alves’ passion for the medium only grew stronger as she pursued a commercial photography degree and eventually found herself moving from Seattle to Los Angeles. Now between Lisbon, Portugal, it was through determination and hard work that Alves honed her craft, ultimately finding her niche in capturing movement and emotion.
Marissa Alves’ dedication to her clients is evident in the care she takes to preserve their special moments. “This role is my entire job and important I do the best job I can because that’s how the next job can happen,” she says. With an emphasis on kindness and staying true to oneself, Alves’ philosophy transcends the realm of photography and serves as a reminder for all artists to forge meaningful connections within their industry.
Let’s start by discussing your journey into photography! How did your passion initially develop, and what inspired you to turn it into a professional career?
I first got into photography as a kid because my mom was into taking film photos as a hobby, then my high school had a dark room and I found myself truly enjoying being there and having that feel like a comfort space. I ended up going to school specifically for commercial photography. After graduating, I just kept working at being a commercial photographer, moved from Seattle to LA and it took a lot of growing and learning even after college.
Capturing the essence of everyday life is a significant aspect of your work. Could you tell us more about your approach to lifestyle photography?
I always try to capture things in a natural and organic way. I believe lifestyle images are trying to capture everyday life but in its most natural state. I believe it’s all in the moments. For me, I see those moments in the way light hits any subject.
Your use of color is incredibly captivating. Would you mind elaborating on your thought process behind selecting color schemes for your images?
First off, thank you so much! I’ve always leaned towards more warm toning. My color schemes are pretty muted with a pop of earth tones (orange, yellow, green, etc.) I’ve always gravitated more toward the shade of brown.
Whether it be with creatives like GRLSWIRL or more commercial work with brands such as Girlfriend Collective, your photographs often showcase a strong sense of movement. How do you manage to convey motion so effectively?
Most importantly, a fast shutter speed and knowing the right moment. I love love love capturing movement, I think that’s what makes my work “me.” Knowing how you’d want to see the perfect moment of someone’s action has taken me many years to figure out.
Not to mention, as a photographer, you have the unique opportunity to document and preserve special moments for clients. How important is this role to you?
This role is my entire job and important I do the best job I can because that’s how the next job can happen. I also think personality plays a huge role and keeping good relationships with clients and people in the industry is very important. Always be kind and true to yourself.
Are there any themes or subjects you find particularly intriguing to photograph, and why?
I love photographing unique people and products – whether that be someone with a ton of freckles to different shapes and sizes. Everyone is different and photographing the beauty in all these different subjects is what intrigues me.
It’s always fascinating to learn about memorable experiences from artists. Can you introduce us to one of your favorite photos?
I’d say my recent shoot for Vogue Philippines has been my most memorable and favorite shoot I’ve done so far. This has been a huge editorial and for me being half Filipina, getting into Vogue Philippines is a huge milestone in my career. I’m forever grateful for all the support and love I’ve received since it’s come out.
Aspiring photographers often seek guidance in developing their unique voice and style. What advice would you offer to someone looking to find their style?
KEEP GOING! Keep shooting, keep creating, and keep reaching out. The more you create you’ll eventually find what style you like. The more time you put into your craft it’ll all fall into place, but don’t quit! In this day and age, it’s very easy to compare yourself to others in the industry – but use this as inspiration rather than a comparison. Everything good takes time, put in the time and trust me you’ll eventually see the results.