Smiley and Spirited Connecticut Photography is Mariel O. Photo's tag line. I wanted to share my why behind my tag and a bit about me. My mother always says my smile is a 'Mariel smile' even when I had crazy teeth and needed braces there was always a smile on my face! When in the movie Elf Buddy says it's his favorite, well it's mine too.
As a child I was always creative -- writing poetry while barefoot in the woods and took bad landscape photos on my Sony 'point & shoot' I knew I liked seeing the world through a lens. I actually didn't take a photography class in high school but did in college. Learning the dark room and developing film was interesting. I practiced with my father's Pentax and my good friend and I would go on photo adventures all around the state. We would shoot each other and whatever else when she was back in town from college.
Fast forward some years and I was always was on a job hunt it seemed. I had worked in retail, at my college off campus bookstore, a newspaper but always wanted more. I had this photography passion and decided to look for something to combine my skills with a paycheck. I found Teddy Bear Portraits a nationwide company that photographs children in preschool and daycare programs. It was a crazy schedule working some day 10-12 hours and I managed to do it for 4 years! I love capturing smiles of those children but the sales portion and travel around the state was not my favorite.
Once I got married in October 2014 and now that I was a wife I soon realized the crazy schedule was not something I wanted anymore. I found that I could get a everyday more structured job and get out my creativity in other ways. I also found out how much I loved wedding days and found a family member who also loved being at weddings too. She encouraged me to join Facebook groups and get experience. We chatted endlessly about camera technology, classes we could take to help our skills it really helped.
I finally took the leap second shooting in October of 2015 and shot my first wedding in June 2016. Since that first wedding I have learned so much and worked with so many great people. Making friends in the industry has helped immeasurably and all the couples that have come through has made this journey worth it. I have attracted my dream couples with amazing friends and family, making wedding days so enjoyable. I got to travel to so many new places across this state and beyond!