Ted's Master Marissa Alden - One On One

5/06/2017 4:21 PM

Ted's Masters: They’re explorers, artists and visionaries, but most importantly they’re your inspiration.

We’ve hand-picked some of Australia’s most amazing photographers to show you how they shoot, the gear they use and what drives them to capture the amazing images they’re known for.

This week we are excited to announce the latest addition to the Ted's Masters team, Marissa Alden!
Marissa is a talented fashion and commercial photographer based in Melbourne, and this is her story...


About Marissa

Go on – *drum roll* - Introduce yourself!
My name is Marissa Alden and I am a fashion, beauty and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. I spend most of my time capturing beautiful people wearing beautiful clothing.

What defines your photography style?
I would say that my style is fairly simplistic, I like to focus on the beauty of the model and the clothing, rather than capturing a busy scene. I tend to shoot with softer lighting, and my aesthetic is quite feminine.



How did you become interested in photography?
I first started photography when I was 15 years old at high school. I took photojournalism as a subject and instantly fell in love with it. From there I started planning small shoots on weekends and after school, using my friends and family as my models. It wasn’t until after I finished school that I discovered fashion photography, I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to pursue as my career.
Do you have any formal training?
No, I am completely self taught. I was accepted into university, but decided that it wasn’t for me.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything! I love looking at books or magazines for inspiration, as well as the world around me. Locations, colours, clothing, movies, models and so much more spark ideas for my shoots. I also love looking online on websites such as Pinterest for inspiration and  to keep up to date with trends.
What do you think were some of the key elements to the development of your photography?
Time and hard work were definitely the key elements to developing my photography. I spent (and still do spend) a lot of time practicing new techniques, researching ideas and finding ways to improve my work. I am dedicated to bettering my images and working hard to make each shoot better than the last. This has definitely helped me in developing the style and techniques that I use today.
What type of lighting do you use most within your photography?
I love natural light or a simple studio set up. When I’m in the studio, I often shoot with a single light with a softbox or beauty dish attached. For years I only had access to natural light, so I always love revisiting natural light as well.
What are you currently working on?
I recently shot an editorial with an amazing young actress that I’m about to release. I also have some really exciting upcoming shoots that I’m looking forward to sharing, but I don’t like to give too much away.
Who are your favourite photographers and/or artists as of right now?
I admire so many photographers, it's hard for me to just name a few. Some of my favourites are definitely Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Arthur Elgort and Mario Testino. I also really admire Alexi Lubomirski and Lara Jade, who I would consider the new masters of fashion photography.
What is your proudest moment as a photographer?
I have had some of my images displayed in Times Square as part of a photography exhibition, which was an amazing experience. Recently I also had one of my images published on the cover of Sunday Life magazine, which was a proud moment for me.
How has social media helped with the success of your photography?
Social media has been amazing. Instagram in particular has really changed the way I market and publish my work. I have gained so many great opportunities and met so many talented people (including models, makeup artists, photographers etc.) through social media, its amazing being able to connect with someone instantly.



How important is post-processing to your works?
Retouching is very important in the fashion industry. Correcting blemishes, enhancing the lighting and colour correction are the main things that I focus on. I think enhancing in post-production is really important and helps me really bring an image to life.
What’s on your gear list?
I mainly shoot with my Nikon D610 and 50mm 1.8 lens. I also sometimes shoot with a 35mm lens, or my nikon SB700 flash if I’m not in the studio. 
What type of photography do you enjoy the most? Creating your own personal work or client shoots?
I enjoy both personal and client work. I’m lucky enough to work with amazing clients who hire me for my creative vision, and allow me to stay in creative control of our shoots. 
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I love this quote by Ira Glass, I think it is such great advice for beginners : “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work...It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
What awards have you won?
I prefer to focus on my achievements within my photography, rather than awards. I look at achievements such as a published editorial, working with an amazing new client, inclusion in an exhibition etc., as an award in itself.
What tips would you give a photographer on best way to get your work published/ or/ to get noticed?
I think that the best way to get noticed as a photographer is to simply put your work out to the world. Create an Instagram account and start posting regularly. Connect with people in the industry online and show your work to as many people as possible. Just start sharing your work and people will eventually start noticing you.



Any big plans for the future?
I’m planning on shooting some more creative work and organising bigger and better shoots, but you will have to wait and see.
Any advice for the novice photographer?
Focus on your own work, don’t compare yourself to others.


If you'd like to see more of Marissa's work, check out her galleries and website in the links below!

What's In Marissa's Bag


Comments are closed for this post