Marie-Christine Genero is one of our Top 30 under 30 featured photographers.
Here’s a little bit more about her, what she does, and some of her best advice:
Tell us how you got started in photography.
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos for fun. When I was a teenager, I was that friend who always had a camera with her. Fast forward to a few years ago. I had been working as an electrophysiology technician. I really enjoyed working in neurology – I was able to spend a good amount of time with my patients, the theory behind the exams I performed was complex and I loved having students under my wing. These were all things I loved about my job, but I didn’t feel enough pressure. It didn’t push me enough out of my comfort zone. So I decided to change careers. I enrolled in photography school and started studying Commercial Photography full time during evenings while working full time during the day at the hospital. At the same time, I had the opportunity of a lifetime: to intern with Davina + Daniel. I had been a fan of their work for a while when I saw that blog post that basically changed my life! The rest is pretty much history. I quit my hospital job when I graduated in 2012 and have been working in photography full time since then!
Now that you are one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 wedding photographers, what’s next for you?
That’s a tough question. I’m personally never happy with my work, so I really want to push harder and get my name out there. I really enjoy teaching so I’d love to give workshops someday. I’d love to inspire others the way I feel inspired looking at other photographers work.
How has attending photography seminars or photo conventions such as the Canada Photo Convention benefited you as a photographer?
It’s always great to hear what other photographers have to say. It’s easy to get caught up in your own little world when you’re an “artist” (I don’t like using this term!), so to have input and advice from others definitely brings another dimension. Either technically or inspirationally. And I really think it’s this hunger for knowledge that makes me grow as a photographer. There’s always something new to learn, there’s always new ways of being inspired.
What does it mean to you personally to be a young wedding photographer in Canada?
I love that 30 is qualified as “young”! What does it mean to me…hmmm. I guess it means that I still have so much time to be inspired. This is just the beginning. Last year I attended a workshop in NYC given by Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb. It was really encouraging to see how much room photography takes in their lives, how driven they are, even after years of putting out amazing work (my favourite photography book of all time is The Suffering of Light by Alex Webb). They still see the world with the same passion. Canada has such beautiful places, some places I haven’t been yet and that I really want to travel to. I want to shoot it for myself, as personal work, but also to document weddings in all these different settings. Don’t get me wrong, I love Montreal, but I would love to shoot in the Canadian Rockies, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, etc. (just putting it out there!)
Tell us about a pinch-me moment that you had where you just couldn’t believe that this became your life.
My husband and I drive down to Vermont a few times every winter to go ride Jay Peak. When we arrived at customs, I rolled down my window, handed out our passports and waited for the agent to ask us the usual questions. “What do you do for a living?” It was the first time in my life that I was answering “Photographer”. It may sound silly, but it was truly a big moment to realize that this was now my life. I was no longer going to say “Neurology technician” or “Student”. I.am.a.photographer. Very few people get to live from their passion, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be one of them!
What’s one thing you would say to another photographer that’s just getting started?
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Try to shoot everyday. In normal, everyday life. It’s a tip Davina and Daniel gave me when I first started with them. Wherever you are, pay attention to the light. Be intrigued, be attracted to things that surround you and be open that it can happen no matter where you are. After having hip surgery in December, my life right now is basically hanging out at home, a bit at the studio, and at physiotherapy. Not the most inspiring locations for photos. But I’ve been trying to document it since day 1 with my iPhone on my Instagram account. I know it’s not my best work – heck some photos are super boring – but at least I’m shooting. I’m trying to find good light, good angles, in mundane places. And that just makes me more hungry for the day I’ll be out shooting other things than my recovery!
To see more of Marie-Christine’s work, check out her website here.