Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MiMi Paris Photography: ~~Martha Mary~~

MiMi Paris Photography: ~~Martha Mary~~: I was born "Martha Mary Parisotto" in Springfield, Illinois. I was severely deformed in that my legs were tangled up like a pretze...

~~Martha Mary~~

I was born "Martha Mary Parisotto" in Springfield, Illinois. I was severely deformed in that my legs were tangled up like a pretzel and curled up by my ears. I was fitted with baby casts that were later replaced by braces.

At 11 months old, I was dumped like a stray animal in a city park, left only to be found by police. I was placed in the local hospital until the first of many foster/group homes could be located for me. 

We often identify ourselves based on our childhood, our relationships with our parents and siblings and our environment. When you are thrown out as a baby, abused as a kid and begged a judge to go back into foster care, it's nearly impossible to have strong self-esteem.

I spent my entire life hiding who I was and from whence I came. Photography has become a powerful vehicle that keeps me out of the shadows and in the light.

Beach Sunset, Kenai, Alaska

Monday, April 18, 2016

MiMi Paris Photography: Another reason....

MiMi Paris Photography: Another reason....: Another reason that people take photographs is that photography is great for mental health. It can be a lot cheaper than the "Lie on my...

Another reason....

Another reason that people take photographs is that photography is great for mental health. It can be a lot cheaper than the "Lie on my couch" therapy, and all in all, it makes people happy!

I am a natural explorer, and nothing makes me happier than finding gems and, through photography, sharing them!

I am so happy to see this Limited Edition Artist Print hanging in my client's office!  And it makes everyone happy when they see it!

Little Red Cottage, Glacier National Park

Happiness is a really good reason!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


In those "early" years, I didn't make many friends. I isolated. Everyone is a judge. And truly, none of us has a duty or right to judge others. It is too easy to judge.  The Norwegian proverb stays locked in my mind:

"Sweep before your own door first
before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbors." 

I, like everyone, don't want to be judged. So I isolated...and when I did creep out once in a was all good all the time. No one knew about my personal hell.

I tend to isolate when things aren't going so well. I am, by nature, an introvert. Most people laugh when I say that because I am very outgoing. To me, strangers are just friends I have not met yet.

Introverts get their energy from being alone and being quiet.  Extroverts, on the other hand, get their energy from being with others.  I get most of my peace and energy by being alone.  I love my alone time...probably way too much.  Thank God for internet friends!  (Giggling, but it is true.)

Getting out is critical to good mental health, so I decided to go to a class at a local camera shop. And to my surprise and delight, the photographers in the class were friendly, nice and helpful!  They were not like my instructor...not a all.  They shared, were helpful. And when they saw my work seemed genuinely excited by my "eye."  In fact, they invited me on "photo walks."  I didn't know what a photo walk was, but now I crave them and invite others regularly.

This one experience changed me dramatically...just like the "lesson" changed me. But this was one of the most positive experiences of my life.  I really saw the light...and I was transformed, encouraged and thrilled about my new life of photography.

I had lived in the business world for all of my adult life...too sad.  I never considered myself to be creative or gifted in anything...but writing, speaking and communicating.  This new, physical form of expression started feeding my soul like nothing ever in my life.

Photographers can be snooty and rude, but I searched...and many lovely friends in photography that helped me...and now...after a few years, I get to help others.  I would never laugh at someone learning...ever.

I have even had the pleasure of coaching new photographers....and experienced ones, too!  How fun is that.

Photography feeds my soul.  Friends feed my soul.  And then there are photographer friends......

Mike Brown

Joe Newman
Bastrop, TX

Cindy Hamilton Wentzloff
Grand Rapids, MI

Matthew Tracy
Portland, Oregon

Sean Smith
Dallas, TX

John Mariani

Marilyn Kidwell
Cedar City, UT

Mike and Marie Adkins
Dallas, TX
Rick DiGiammarino
Boston, MA

Tim Wohlever
Scottsdale, AZ

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Peeking Out

When I was first going through the mess I got myself into, I needed to find a way to regain my mental (and probably physical) health.  I was deep into the darkness of the situation that was completely out of my control.

I starting peeking out into the world.  "Out there" was a much better place than "in here." As a friend once told me, "Never stay long in your own head. It is too scary in there."

I got my first "real" camera in 2010, but really didn't use it much. Photography seemed much too complicated, and I didn't have much energy or capacity at that time to delve into something so complex.  I played with the camera a bit.... These are the very first pictures I took with my Canon Rebel T2i--cringe worthy, for certain...ugh.

I wanted to get better, so I bought a "Groupon" for a lesson with a local photographer.  I was nervous and intimidated, but I made it to the appointment. The professional photographer examined my camera and and told me it was "okay for a starter camera."  I thought, "Hmmmm....that is a shot...and not very nice."

During the lesson, she talked about F-Stops and ISO and Depth of Field.  She quizzed me on the mathematics of the formulas.  And when I got the aperture issue incorrect, she laughed and seemed to take pleasure in making me wrong.  (By the way, not all of photography is "intuitive.")

The final straw that made me put my camera away for nearly a year was when she asked me if I shoot in RAW.  I simply stared blankly and asked, "What is RAW?"  Again, she laughed and said "Never mind."

Are all photographers so snooty and rude?  If so, I didn't want to be one.

(This shot is just for my instructor....nature's answer to mean people.)  

Even though I had a tough experience, I still itched to shoot.  I knew that if I stayed "in here" too long the darkness would continue to take over and I'd never get to see the light again.

Interesting that one of the most important aspects of photography is...the light.

Peeking out into the light motivated me to keep picking up my "starter camera."