Marna Niebergall de Rojas is one of our Studio Share Photography members at the Barrington location. She is an excellent pet (and people) photographer. Marna is one of the most genuine people I know and I always leave with a smile on my face after hangin' with her. Here are some of the questions I asked her - so you can get a peek into her life as a photographer:
When did you become a member of SSP?
February 06, 2014
What is the name of your business?
Which side are you on?
What's your favorite lens to shoot with?
Canon 70-200mm IS L II
Does your work consist of natural light or studio light?
Either - depending on the situation
Are you from the area? Why do you live in the midwest?
I'm a recent transplant back to the Midwest, after having lived in Acapulco, Mexico for 25 years. I now reside in Barrington.
Tell us a little bit about your family...
My husband, Ricardo "Chacho" Rojas is a very gifted architect who I met when I was doing business for Hyatt Hotels in Acapulco. We share many common creative interests so I'm sure we were meant to be together as partners in life. Chacho has 2 sons who are very dear to my heart and I love his 6 grandchildren like they were my own. Our home is a happy place where we share our life with 3 loyal canine companions and 2 divine felines, all rescues from the streets of Acapulco.
How long have you been in business?
I launched my business as a professional photographer 3 years ago. I wore many different hats before that.
What got you started in photography? And how did you build your skill set?
I have a BFA from the University of Illinois and transferred from a Liberal Arts background to Graphic Design early in my university career. Because I couldn't draw a straight line, and failed miserably in my painting classes, I was drawn to photography as my medium of choice to communicate my ideas. I shot film back in the 70's and loved my time in the dark room. My first "real" camera was a Canon Ftb, the old manual work horse of the Canon family. I've had the good fortune to live in a Tropical Paradise for most of my adult life, and Chacho and I have traveled to beautiful many countries around the globe............I've always had a camera slung over my shoulder. Always observing and shooting people and nature.
What type of photography do you specialize in?
I look for God's "Grace" in everything I photograph. People. Animals. Nature. I was one of the founding members of an Animal Welfare Organization in Acapulco (Happy Tails Acapulco, A.C.) It was the first organization of it's kind in that city to be recognized by the Federal Government. I used my little point-and-shoot to photograph our rescues and post them on the Internet. The photos were compelling and we received much-needed support from the community. I've always had a soft spot for the underdog, and continue to volunteer my photographic skills to local shelters and rescue organizations. I'm honored to be a member of HeArts Speak, a global network of photographers and a global network of animal photographers, graphic designers, writers, illustrators, painters and advocates who provide our time and professional services, pro-bono, to animal welfare organizations in our communities.
Who or do you END UP photographing the most? Why? (if different lol)
Studying the bond we have with our companion animals is a passion for me. So although I have a special focus on animals, I also love photographing the people they love. I'm probably not a good match for anyone who has an allergy to cats or dogs because I usually arrive at my sessions with a few stray hairs clinging to my clothes.
What are the names of 1 or 2 photographers that inspire you?
Annie Leibovitz. Francois Robert.
What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
For me, photography is about introspection. A daily dialogue with myself and what's important to me. I need that time with myself, and too often it's at the expense of spending time with loved ones.
What has been surprisingly easy? (if anything)
Making grace-filled connections.
Would you be willing to briefly tell about a time that you were afraid in your business? And how you worked through that?
Hahaha! That's easy! I'm afraid each and every time I address a new subject. I know that I need to cut through the chase early to build a relationship of trust so grace can shine through.
If you could share one piece of advice with a photographer just starting out, what would you tell them?
Be authentic and true to your values.
Why did you decide to be part of Studio Share Photography?
Because photography is a very isolating profession, I loved the business model Jenni designed for bringing photographers together in a nurturing, supportive environment. I feel so blessed by the professional relationships and encouraging friendships I've developed as a member of Studio Share Photography.
If you've been a member for any length of time, how have you seen your business grow?
I've been a member of the share for 2 years, and yes I've seen my business grow. As a member I really appreciate the networking and educational opportunities Studio Share Photography provides.
5 years from now, where do you see yourself and your business?
I want to sit down and have coffee with Annie Leibovitz. :)
Would you rather get up early or stay up late to edit?
Stay up late
Would you rather eat something salty or sweet?
If you've been thinking about joining the studio share to take your business to the next level and to rub shoulders with quality people like Marna (*smile*), then contact us! We'd love to show you around and hear more about how we could serve your business!