Marien Elizabeth Photography – Marien Armstrong

Marien Elizabeth Photography

Special Strong is giving local businesses a platform to share how their services can make a difference for people with special needs. This service provider is Marien Elizabeth Photography.

About Marien Elizabeth Photography

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Marien Elizabeth Photography is a portrait photography business for families with special needs in the San Antonio, Texas area. I have a deep passion for the special needs community and strive to make sure that every family has access to professional, dignifying, and fun family photography. I focus on getting to know every family personally before I ever bring out my camera.

I provide complimentary Design Consultations to every potential client. This is an in person meeting at the family’s home with no pressure or obligation to book a portrait session. I have conversations with the family, get to know their interests, goals, and desires for their portrait session. If the family does decide they would like to work with me, we then plan our portrait session date and location, as well as their Portrait Selection Consultation.

At this Portrait Selection Consultation I will show the family the Originals from their portrait session, they will select which portraits they would like to purchase as wall art, gift prints, or other photographic products, at which point I will finish applying the artwork (editing) to the photographs they have selected. Once their prints have been ordered and delivered to me, I return to the family’s home for the final time to hang their prints on the wall for them. I pride myself in being a full service photographer, and my goal is always to make life as easy as possible for my clients.

I have a passion for people with special needs and I strive to make every single portrait that I create one that sincerely represents the personality of each person that I photograph. This especially includes making sure that not only my portraits but also my words and actions are completely dignifying to the person with special needs.

My guarantee is that my clients will be THRILLED, not just satisfied, with their entire process with me. If they are not THRILLED, I will work with them to see if we can find a solution that will make them thrilled, and if I am unable to do so I will give them all of their money back. No questions or hard feelings.

How Marien Elizabeth Photography Got Its Start

I’ve known I wanted to be a family photographer since 2011 when I was in high school.  When I was earning my degree in photography, I spent two of my most memorable summers working as a camp photographer for a camp for children and adults with special needs.  I will never forget my second week on the job my first summer when a mother came up to me on the last day of camp. She asked “Will you send me this photo that you took of my daughter? It’s so hard to get photos of her smiling that are anything more than blurry and taken with an iPhone.”  While my love for the special needs community began in high school, that moment and the rest of those two summers cemented in me a deep love and passion for capturing their personalities through my art.

Around this same time I also read an article about a young man with Autism getting kicked out of a portrait studio chain for “not behaving.” This meant that he wouldn’t look directly at the camera, wouldn’t sit still, and was uncomfortable with the photographer’s flash. The mother in the article also complained that the photographer was also using tactics such as shaking a rattle in order to get her son to look at the camera. The idea of this appalled me, and I knew that I HAD to be the change that I wanted to see in terms of how professional photographers treat those with special needs.

Every family should have access to family portraits, and I strongly believe that it should not come at the expense of dignity, professionalism, or FUN! My heart for the special needs community and my passion for capturing memories for families drive me forward in my passion to provide professional portraits for families of ALL abilities. My highest goal is to make you and your family feel comfortable and dignified throughout your entire experience with me.

I am a firm believer that family photography does not have to fit into a “traditional” setting. Sometimes going somewhere unfamiliar or outside of your normal routine can cause anxiety and make things difficult.  Additionally, standing still and looking directly into a camera is not always a good way to capture your or your child’s personality. Whether it’s at your favorite park or on your weekly trip to Target, I work with you to take photos that uniquely capture your family dynamic. Your family is unique, so should your family portraits be!  My experience as a camp photographer has given me a talent for capturing candid moments that tell a story. Contact me today and help me tell your family’s story!

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