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Check Out Marisa Stone’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marisa Stone. 

Hi Marisa, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hi! I’m Marisa, the creator, and owner of Marisa Stone Photography. I’m a Motherhood and family photographer specializing in the early years. I pride myself on capturing the beauty in the simplistic moments that are so often overlooked. I’m the wife to my college sweetheart (and my biggest cheerleader), and a mama to two littles (Elliott age 5, Declan age 2)! I believe that family is everything and that there is nothing more valuable than a printed photograph. 

To me, photography has always been about moments, these slivers of time that slip through our hands, but we relive in our hearts, they’re memories we capture and hope to hold on to. I’ve been shooting digital and film photography since I was 15. I would spend early mornings, my lunch hour, and countless time after school developing my film in the darkroom. 

Five years ago, my daughter was born and a spark was reignited in me. My passion for the art of photography grew and my desire to freeze time became a mission. I had grown up flipping through photo albums, swapping out frames of old family photos, reliving moments with family members who were no longer here. Looking at my daughter for the first time, I knew in my heart that I wanted more than pictures stored on my cell phone or a computer, my children and future grandchildren deserved more. They deserve the same heirlooms that I’ve been given, and that became the foundation to Marisa Stone Photography. 

During those early days, navigating the ever-turning roads of motherhood, I realized there was something vital missing. Where was this village everyone talked about? I was the first of my friends to have a baby and the weight of becoming. a mom felt pretty darn heavy. It didn’t take me long until I realized moms desperately needed support, an open ear, a sense of community to know they weren’t alone. So, as my business has grown, so has the way I serve my clients. I went from no studio to an in-home studio, to my now current commercial studio space complete with a boutique wardrobe room and administrative office. I went from delivering 10 digital files sent through email only, that may or may not have gone unviewed, to providing an in-person reveal experience and ordering appointment that is tailored to each client. I went from a single email correspondence to daily text messaging with my clients, I went from my relationship fizzling out with past clients after our session together, to taking the front seat, really asking each mom how they were doing, listening to them, providing contact information for doulas, lactation consultants and therapists who specialize in postpartum. I’ve learned that serving my clients goes deeper than me providing wardrobe for the whole family, deeper than coordinating their hair and make-up, deeper than 1:1 ordering appointments and custom album designs; I’ve structured my business on providing a stress-free experience, capturing authentic moments, creating heirlooms and building lasting relationships by creating a sense of community, one client at a time. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It certainly has not been all smooth sailing, but through failures come lessons and growth. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last four years is to know my worth, fully understand what my cost of doing business is, and to charge accordingly, without guilt. I started out charging $200 a session (and actually losing money once) to now averaging $2,000 a session. I learned that when I value myself, my art, and my services, my clients do the same. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a photographer and videographer who specializes in motherhood and the early years! A large portion of my work starts with my maternity clients, growing with them as they transition through motherhood and into the following years of their family’s lives. I’ve found the most rewarding aspect of what I do is getting to know, love, and support my clients through such a vulnerable and fleeting season of life. I pride myself on capturing images that evoke authentic emotion, on capturing the beauty in even the most mundane, to provide every single one of my clients with tangible memories they’ll cherish more, even 50 years from now. I also offer the option to add a 1–2-minute film to every session, I’ve loved growing as an artist and watching how videography compliments the simplicity of a single photograph. 

I provide a custom experience for every client! I assist with wardrobe planning for the entire family with access to my boutique client wardrobe with over 60 dresses for moms, options for dad, and outfits for little ones (from newborn to age 10)! After getting to know each client, we discuss location options, and their vision for our session together, calming their nerves and ironing out all the details including the option of having their hair and make-up done on location or in my studio. Two weeks after our session, we set a date for their reveal and ordering appointment. My clients come back into my studio where they receive their thank you box (filled with hand-selected goodies from other small business owners throughout the United States) and see their images for the first time…in PRINT. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing my client’s reaction to their images, and the nostalgia that comes with holding a physical print, well, it’s really the best. Once my clients go through their full gallery, we discuss how they’d like to enjoy their images (they have the option to invest in digital files, frames, albums, video, or a combination, etc.). I love providing a hands-on, stress-free experience for my clients from wardrobe selection, session planning, reveal appointment, and frame installation in their home, no detail is forgotten, and the relationship we build along the way? Well, that’s the most beautiful part. 

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Being the sole founder and owner of my business, I truly learn something new every, single day, and I’m sure I will continue to do so indefinitely. If I had to choose, I would say my two biggest lessons have been 1. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, do what is true and authentic to yourself and your business 2. Work-life balance: remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Marisa Stone Photography

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