Interview with Wedding Photographer Anthem Photography by Maria Lamb – Winner of the Jose Villa Photography Workshop
An interview with Maria Lamb
Running a wedding website like Bride Club ME means we are accustomed to seeing stunning wedding imagery on a daily basis. With so much talent out there, the UAE is definitely home to some of the best. But now and again, we venture further afield and feature people who personally inspire us and international wedding photographer Jose Villa (pictured below) is no exception.
Originally from Mexico, this world-renowned fine art wedding photographer has been featured in some of the wedding industry’s top magazines and blogs. He is one of those rare photographers who still shoots 100 per cent film and was recently named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world by American Photo Magazine.
However, it’s not Jose we are interviewing today, but rather one of his new students and winner of his recent Instagram competition to win a scholarship place at the 8th annual Jose Villa workshop in Mexico.
Maria’s photography caught our eye on Instagram and we adore her romantic and classic style. About to hone her skills under Jose’s tutelage, we have no doubt that Maria will be voted top of her game soon too. Below, Maria tells us more about winning the Jose Villa workshop, her journey into the world of wedding photography and launching her business Anthem Photography (All images below have been taken by Maria).
Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and where you are from?
Although most of my family is in Greece, I was born in California and raised all over the world for the first 12 years of my life. We settled in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve lived there ever since. I love travelling and learning about new cultures and all the exciting things that come with that. I love people, a good cup of coffee, community, my family, nature, adventure, my hubby and, of course, our two cute pups.
Did you study photography or are you self-taught? Tell us how you became the wedding photographer you are today.
I am a self-taught photographer. I didn’t go to school to study photography, but learnt from others in the industry. I’m a hands-on learner, so although YouTube and the internet were useful learning tools, it was basic trial and error through my own shooting that got me to where I am today. I started pursuing photography as a hobby while I was at nursing school. One thing led to another and, before I knew it, I was shooting weddings. I never thought I’d be the one taking photographs of people, let alone weddings. But it happened, and I am so glad it did because I absolutely love what I do.
How would you describe your general photographic style?
I would say my style is romantic, light, whimsy and editorial.
Which photographers leave you speechless? Who do you look up to in the industry?
You recently won a scholarship place at the 8th annual Jose Villa workshop by submitting a 15-second video on Instagram capturing the things that inspire you on a daily basis. Tell us more about the video and why you entered the competition.
Jose Villa has been one of my top inspirations for years now. It’s always been on my to-do list to go to one of his workshops. I just knew it was something I really wanted to do, whether in one year, five years or 10 years’ time. When I saw he was doing the scholarship, I didn’t have second thoughts about entering. Because video is pretty foreign to me, my husband and I decided to do more of a GIF for our entry. When I found out our video had won, I couldn’t help jumping and screaming with excitement.
What do you hope to learn and achieve by attending the workshop?
I intend to learn as much as possible. There are so many areas I can improve on, and I know I’ll gain so much from this workshop. I am embarking on a new venture using medium-format film and would love to learn more about that. I want to come out of the workshop feeling inspired, and ready to take on 2015 by making my business more “me” than ever.
Where would be your dream destination to shoot a wedding?
Such a hard question … I love so many different places and cultures in this world, and I know there are so many destinations I’d love but haven’t seen yet. But, if I had to pick one, I would love to shoot a wedding in New Zealand, and of course, shooting a wedding in Dubai would be amazing!
What advice would you offer to aspiring wedding photographers in the UAE?
Be you! There are so many photographers out there and it is so easy to get caught up in the work of others. It’s one thing to be inspired by others, but don’t try to mimic anyone. Be true to who you are and, as a result, your business and photographs will follow.
What advice would you offer to engaged couples searching for a wedding photographer?
I would say to make sure you click with your photographer and find someone who not only matches the style you are looking for, but who you mesh well with too. It will make a big difference on your wedding day if you’ve hired someone you can have a great time with, so the photography process is enjoyable – because it should be!
Lastly, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Five years from today, I would love to be travelling the world shooting weddings. Most importantly, I would love to be involved with somehow making a difference in this world using the gifts and talents I have been given.