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My guest is a nature photographer from Canada. Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Maria Keady and I met on Fine Art America and are in several Facebook groups together. I enjoy the simplicity of her images.

Cendrine Marrouat: What inspired you to become a photographer? Any particular story?

Maria Keady: I don't ever remember a time in my life when I didn't take pictures, as a kid I used whatever camera the family owned, including a Polaroid.

I discovered somewhere along the way that I had a pretty good eye. In high school I got my first 35mm (Minolta XG9) to take to college for Visual Arts Instructor Training.

I feel lost if I don't have at least one camera with me so even when it's not a photo excursion with my Nikon D5500, I have a Canon Power Shot in my purse as well as an iPhone.

CM: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

MK: I love nature photography.....particularly florals, wildlife, landscapes and fall foliage. I love natural settings and rich colours and nature is wonderful at providing beautiful palettes.

CM: What makes a good photo?

MK: A good photo is one that evokes emotion.....it can inspire, calm, excite or remind.

CM: What is the photo you prefer in your portfolio? Why?

MK: My favourite photo is one of my fall photos, Autumn Glory from the Hockley Valley in Ontario... It is beautiful, colourful and reminds me how fragile and fleeting the important things in life can be.

My love of fall photography goes back to the days when I was struggling to make it in my first nice apartment. My father wanted photos taken under the tree in his front yard one lovely fall morning. I couldn't find my film anywhere, so between returning pop bottles and scrounging the coins from the bottom of my purse I bought the film and went to the house. We pestered mom until she reluctantly went outside for the photo shoot. We got a wonderful series of shots of my dad chasing my mom around the tree with the dog playing in the leaves. A half hour later the wind whipped up and all the leaves came down off the trees. My father passed away very unexpectedly 4 months later and those photos mean the world.

CM: Any photographer you admire?

MK: There are so many wonderful photographers but the one that first spoke to my creative soul was Ansel Adams. My goal wasn't really to take photos like his but to get out and seek the beauty in the real world like he did. To this day I'm awe-inspired by natural beauty and try to do it justice.

CM: What piece of advice would you give photographers who are starting with online promotion?

MK: Listen, ask and learn. Be open to what works for other artists and see what you can use. Be prepared to then answer and share what you have learned. We promote each other and we all benefit.

I think it is important to try more than one thing, although you don't need to try everything at once. Pick one online platform, and when you feel comfortable add something else.

CM: Anything else you would like to share?

MK: Photography is a passion and a privilege I find quite emotional--sometimes profoundly subtle, other times grandly dramatic. The joy I have taking pictures, either alone or with family and friends, is lasting regardless of how the photos turn out. I enjoy the journey as well as the destination. It is extra special when the photos turn out though.

My best photographs are taken when I love and am inspired by my subject.

The wonderful part of digital photography is it allows you to take an abundance of photos. The trick though is to edit them... Divide pictures into snapshots and photographs, you may want to keep all the snapshots as they are family memories. The photographs though need to be edited again into keep or delete. If it is questionable, keep as "worth a second look". If it is not worth keeping though, delete it. When you have 10,000s of photos, don't get bogged down having to re-open files you know are just taking up space. Give yourself more time to enjoy the sheer joy taking photographs.


For more information on Maria Keady, visit mariakeady.com. She is also on Twitter.

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