Maris Ehlers Photography
TCBA Member Expert
Photography / Photographer
Interview with Maris Ehlers
What inspires you?
I am completely and wholeheartedly inspired by emotions. I’m very passionate about my work and the people and topics I care about, and so I pour a lot of emotion and heart into what I do and what I believe. That, and I’m a sucker for a good underdog story.
How did you get your start in the business?
Quite honestly, I fell in love with the art of photography first. The business part came much later.
Over fifteen years ago I bought my first “real” film SLR. Two of the very first pictures I took were of my nephew Ethan on his first birthday. In the first he wasn’t looking at the camera, but had this wistful and innocent expression on his face, and in the second he was sitting up looking directly at me and his eyes simply sparkled. I remember being so excited to get the film developed. I printed them both in black and white, and I still have those images today.
After that, photography became an addiction, one that I happily still have. I became obsessed with improving my skills and different ways to shoot and to capture what I was feeling and seeing, and that is when I started investing in educating myself about the art an science of photography. That focus on educating myself on current technology and trends has never stopped, and never will.
People think that photographers often start photographing weddings because they love eating with strangers and watching them dance at receptions every Saturday night, but honestly, that’s not true. We fall in love with the way we learn to use a camera to express how we feel about what we are experiencing, the way we see the world. And we get to do just that – for 8-10 hours at a stretch. Seriously! What’s not to love about that? The beauty is that each one is so different, which means it never gets old. I’m always excited to see what a wedding will be like.
I eventually realized, however, that there is a lot more to running a photography business than simply taking great pictures, and most of it centers around how you deal with and treat your clients. I understand and do not take for granted the fact that my clients are making a significant investment in me as their wedding photographer, and so I do the same – I invest in my relationship with them, and it has never failed me. Not once.
Do you have any kids? Tell us about them.
My husband and I have two children. Hunter, who is nearly nine, and Amelia, who is seven. They amaze, delight, frustrate and inspire us – often all at the same time. They are wonderful little people, and I can’t imagine life without them.
What is the most unique thing about you?
I don’t necessarily view the world the way most people do. I can connect dots that others don’t see, which means I always see opportunity, or what could be. It is a big part of what makes me good at what I do, and it has helped me accomplish a lot of things I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. When I was young though, it meant that I didn’t really fit in because what I wasn’t interested in or motivated by what my peers were. It’s still that way today, but luckily I work in a field where this type of thinking can be very valuable.
What has been your favorite wedding and why?
That is a tough question! However, I’d have to say a small wedding that I photographed several years ago. The groom had been in the Army and was serving in Iraq. The wedding was scheduled for just a few days after his arrival home for good. It was a simple and sweet wedding, but I’ll always remember two things about it: The bride entered to the theme song from Cinderella, because her dreams really were coming true, and the couple walked aisle by aisle, chair by chair and served each guest communion. It was such a loving gesture of serving others, and that little room held an awful lot of love.
If you could describe yourself in 2 words what would they be?
Creative and tough.
Are you involved with Charity work? Tell us about it.
We are. We work with Images for a Cure (benefits the Breast Cancer Research Fund), we are members of the American Child Photographer’s Charity Guild (where we donate our time and services to photograph terminally ill children and newborns, or those who have died during or shortly after birth), and we are CURRENTLY trying to create a fundraiser for Caring Bridge in honor of our senior high school client Zoe, who is battling Hodgkins Lymphoma. Preventing teen suicide is also extremely close to my heart, and I speak nationally and locally about it to various groups, especially as it relates to LGBT youth.
Learn a little bit more about Maris Ehlers Photography
Everyone has a story. Let me tell yours.
Maris Ehlers Photography is a boutique photography studio located in beautiful Hanover, Minnesota. Known for her intimate and beautiful style, Maris believes that everyone has a story, and wedding day stories are some of the most important ones to tell… your way. Maris has increased her wedding day availability due to demand from clients who want their wedding day love story told through her unique and creative perspective. She has a great way of getting to know the bride and groom and creating a relationship with them long before the big day so that in the hustle and bustle of it all, they can relax, trust that she understands their vision and know that Maris Ehlers Photography will make taking their photographs one of the highlights of their day. Everyone has a story. Let us tell yours.
Maris Ehlers Photography
10981 4th Street N.E.
Hanover, MN 55341