Artist Spotlight—Mariana Araujo

This week, we're thrilled to showcase the talented portrait photographer, Mariana Araujo! Mariana demonstrates exceptional skill in selecting vibrant colors for her photo sessions and skillfully refining color balance and tones in post-production. We're eager to delve into her photography journey to uncover the secrets behind her ability to capture breathtaking portraits. Let's find out! 

1. What motivated you to start portrait photography?

I was born and raised in the south of Brazil on a farm in the interior. I started photography when I was 13 years old, at the time I suffered from image dysmorphia where I was extremely ashamed of my body, I spent years without letting anyone take a photo of me. That's when I decided I was going to take photos of myself. For years I took my own photographs in various locations on my farm and local places.  I started to understand composition, framing and posing.

At the time, it was my dream to have a professional camera but my parents couldn't buy one because it was extremely expensive. For a long time I used the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800 digital camera. The quality wasn't good but it was what I had so for me it was perfect. I also used a film camera where I could only see how the photo turned out when I developed the photos. It's so crazy to know that today the cameras I used have become trends everywhere.

Model: @aminartrp

When I was in high school, I did a project where I had to do a fashion editorial. It was my first photography project and to this day I am very proud of it. Then life happened and I had to stop photography for while until I came to America, and started creating art through photography again. It's been 15 years since I started with self portraits.

2. How much preparation goes into each of your shoots?

It always starts with inspiration, sometimes it's a feeling or things in my routine. I start by first imagining what feeling I want to convey and from there I start looking for inspiration in social media, art and films. Building a moodboard and most importantly, being able to visualize your ideas can bring a lot of clarity. When I have the feeling, the idea, the colors and the chosen location, I finally look for a model that will bring all of this to real life. This entire process takes place with the aim of viewing the finished images. Transforming what I've envisioned into real life.

Model: @maria_arbizu

3. Do you prefer artificial or natural light? What is your go-to lighting setup?

I personally prefer a harsh light. At this time of year, I have been using more artificial light due to the lack of a sunny day. Utah is extremely beautiful and I love being able to enjoy its beauty in my photography. Studio lighting, in turn, can be extremely fun because you have the flexibility to move it and bring shadows to your subject in different ways. In any situation, I always have my light reflector and tube light on hand.

Model: @itshyrumsworld

4. What do you find inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration comes from art, specifically renaissance art, I am passionate about anything and everything from the 15th century.


5. What has been your favorite photo or series you've taken to date?

This is a difficult question because I feel that each series conveys something very different from each other. However, I really love the series I did in Little Sarah Dunes with FiiFi (@fii.unquenched) & Brayden (@2hype.d). I feel that this series conveys a lot of calm but at the same time a lot of power.

Model: @fii.unquenched

I also love the series from last year that I did in studio with Maisie ( & Amina (@aminartrp) I feel like those series show so much about how it feels to be a woman I just love them.

Big thank you to Mariana for letting us get an inside look at her photography. To see more of her work, check out her website or follow her on Instagram

Get to know Mariana: 

A Utah photographer with a heart full of wanderlust and a camera in hand. Through my lens, I aim to create top notch photos of your life's journey, filled with authenticity, emotion, and the beauty of the fleeting moments.I've always liked to admire and observe the details of all things and I've always asked myself the reason for everything, and in this way I came to the conclusion that life is beautiful in itself.

My primary focus is to capture individuals in the most unique and simple way possible. I strive to encapsulate the richness of our true selves in every photograph. Drawing inspiration from my upbringing and the belief that life is inherently beautiful, I approach each session with the goal of creating "Spectacular People" portraits. I am dedicated to translating the essence of each moment into timeless images.


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