cinqque5tion with Lisa-Marie McGinn (by: Jovin Tardif)
cinqque5tion with Lisa-Marie McGinn
At Profusion 2019, I was speaking to a representative from Elinchrom. I realized that they have ambassadors for their company that go out and take pictures. I went online and I reached out to my new friend Lisa-Marie McGinn to find out more information.
1. Can you tell us about your background in photography, Lisa-Marie McGinn?
I first started studying photography in Grade 10 of high school. It didn’t take long for my passion to begin. I took the photography course because we needed credits to graduate and I thought it would be easy. Boy was I wrong! It was a lot of work but I was so intrigued and fascinated that I wanted to keep learning and growing. Photography became the one subject I couldn’t wait for every day. I would count down the minutes. Once the semester was over I asked my teacher if I could continue and she set up an afternoon course that only three of us attended. By the first semester of Grade 11, I was done the advanced course but there was still so much I wanted to learn. My teacher created an Advanced +1 course just for me so I could continue learning and experimenting with photography. I don’t recall the exact moment, it was just an instant connection and I felt I had finally found my talent and my calling. I love looking back at some of the very first photographs I took. I cringe slightly but it shows me how much I have grown. Back then I only knew the basics. I didn’t really know what genre I wanted to focus on. I just wanted to shoot, shoot, shoot. It wasn’t until my second year of studying photography at University I realized I wanted to be a fashion photographer.
2. Lisa-Marie McGinn, what do you have to consider before taking a photo?
For me, the creative process begins when an idea starts developing in my mind. I start creating mood boards and build on the initial idea. The creative process is interesting. I sometimes find my initial plan completely changes and I create something totally different from what I was planning. Those shoots end up being my favourite most of the time. A simple song or scene from a movie can trigger an idea and then my imagination starts running wild. Once I have my ‘idea’ or ‘theme’ the next step is gathering the perfect team. Sometimes right away I know the model who will pull off my concept and I know so many wonderful makeup artists so it’s finding who is available. You need to consider concept, styling, direction, what you are trying to achieve. Discussing this with your team beforehand and during will really help bring your vision to life.
3. Just out of curiosity, how did you become a brand ambassador for 500px, Canon Canada and Elinchrom?
That’s a funny story, I became an Elinchrom Ambassador first in 2016. At the beginning of the year, I had seen a contest from Vistek titled ‘Your Best Shot’ and thought ‘Why not?’ when I was contemplating entering. I tried to enter an image I had shot in 2014, it was a model wearing a red dress and hat with sun flare coming from behind. I tried and tried and it just wouldn’t submit so I decided to try another image just to see. The image I chose was from a creative bridal editorial that we had titled ‘Twisted Fairytale’. That image submitted no problem and now I realize it was because I was meant to enter that particular image. I ended up winning the contest and through those people at Vistek were in contact with Elinchrom after finding out those were my lighting system and the rest is history! Through that contest too I became a Canon Ambassador the following year. I also received an email from 500px that year asking me to be an ambassador. People constantly ask me how to become an ambassador and honestly, you just need to keep putting your work out there. Social media is the way we become known now.
4. Lisa-Marie McGinn, I noticed you specialize in fashion, beauty and editorial photography. Do you have a preference?
I love all three genres, it all really depends on how I am feeling. Lately, I have been loving fashion photography but a few months ago beauty was all I wanted to photograph. I like to change it up every now and then because when I do the same thing over and over I start to feel stuck so then I try and do something completely different to help me grow as an artist. It doesn’t always work out but that’s the beauty of photography!
5. Just for fun. What do you like to do for fun, Lisa-Marie McGinn?
Photography, haha! I have a one-year-old and this past year adapting to motherhood has been tough. Photography is my creative outlet, always has been. Ever since I was young, I always felt I saw the world differently. I had (still do) a wild imagination and I didn’t have a way of expressing my ideas and thoughts. When I found photography, it all made sense. I was different, I was creative and now I could express all of those feelings and ideas and bring them to life. It brings me so much joy and even though it’s my job, I love doing creative every now and then. When I am not photographing I am out and about with my son, I like to keep him active so we do a lot of group activities. We love going swimming and talking to our dog, Chloe.
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