Local Photographer’s Portraits Tell Personal Story

Photo portraits by Maria Thibodeau.

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN

As winter turns officially to spring and summer is at hand, it is a wonderful time for photography. No one knows this better than local photographer, Maria Thibodeau. Thibodeau teaches English at Los Alamos High School in addition to her career as a photographer.

The daughter of a professional photographer, Thibodeau sat for many photos as a child.

“I can take posed studio-type portraits, but they aren’t my forte,” Thibodeau said. “I far prefer to shoot outside or in a natural setting, especially when photographing children or families because I think my strength as a photographer is catching those unguarded moments of genuine interaction that reveal your family in their best, most honest beauty.”

While balancing a day job and another passion requires some focus, the activities mirror each other, providing satisfaction in a variety of ways, Thibodeau said.

“Although as creative outlets they are different in both expression and result, much like being an educator in photography, the journey is never done,” she said. “Continual growth and improvement drive each decision and there is always something to strive for, always a new experiment to try and a new tactic to practice.”

Thibodeau said photography and a camera have always been a part of her life. As an adult, she now sees how she absorbed some part of her own approach through the osmosis of family. She didn’t seriously start working behind the lens until a few years ago, when she received a “hand-me-down D-SLR,” and began to upgrade her tools.

The focus shifted when she decided to start a side business after reaching what she calls, “a point of comfortable equilibrium,” with her day job last year.

She expanded her clientele by shooting several senior portraits last summer. Thibodeau spent time discussing with both student and parent to discover what story they wanted their picture to tell.

“My favorite part, after taking the picture, is sharing my photographs with the people who are in them,” she said. “Giving people a wonderful photograph of their child is sheer joy for me.”

View Thibodeau’s gallery of photos at www.mariawritingwithlight.com.

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