Mary A Wallace, CPP
I am an Award Winning, Certified Professional Photographer serving the North Dallas Communities. My studio, Elements of Light Photography, specializes in Maternity / Newborn Imagery as well as Model Concept Imagery. Way before my studio though, my passion was Landscape photography.
Four years ago I started the journey to becoming a certified professional photographer. I joined PPA (Professional Photographers of America) and took the CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) exam. Then the image submission requirements and passed. This past year I started entering in print competitions through PPA and recently was awarded Bronze Medalist at the International Photographic Competition (IPC).
I love what I do and am thrilled to be able to offer my expertise to my clients. I love giving my moms-to-be or my new moms a pampering they will never forget, and through my images, they will see the beauty that each of them has as an expectant woman or new mother. There is nothing more stunning than the glow of a woman with child, and I am honored to be given the opportunity to capture that for all to see.
When I need a slower pace, I turn to nature and all that it has to offer. Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, the Canadian Rockies were just an hours drive and eventually became my favorite playground.
There is nothing more rewarding than your client's huge smile as they look at the images you captured of them and their beauty that you brought out. Or to capture the beauty of nature and have the viewer say, "Wow"!!
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Mary A. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I am grateful to be American and blessed to be Canadian! Six years ago I left my home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada 🇨🇦 to move to Dallas, Texas, USA 🇺🇸 and have not looked back. I feel so fortunate to be able to experience "this side of the border". I loved my new home and neighbors so much that I became a US Citizen. I am proud to have both flags in my life today.
This was no small feat for someone in their fifties who had lived in their home for 22 years....but I did it. It has been a very pleasant transition, and every day I feel blessed to be here. Sure there are things that, I don't think I will ever adjust to like the Texas heat but even the locals can't adjust to that so I'm good 😊. What I do truly miss though are the mountains, and I don't think that will ever leave me. Trips "home" is a must...camera in hand...shooting morning, noon, and night. Love it.
Mary A, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My true passion is photography. The challenge of capturing the beauty of whatever my lens sees. My goal is to be the best I can be through education, experience, competition, and networking. I want to be able to offer my client and viewers the ultimate in photographic skills that I can give.
Who is your inspiration in life Mary A? How do you keep inspired?
My fellow photographers are my inspiration and are what keep me wanting to take my skills to the next level. There will always be something new to learn if you want to learn more 😊
We all make mistakes Mary A; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
With being fairly new to professional photography, there has been a lot to learn. It goes way beyond the point and click mindset and has a definite etiquette that is to be followed. When I was first starting out, I was very ignorant to this and offended a fellow photographer with an image I had taken. Fortunately, the photographer approached me about it, and I was full of apologies. I am well read in the etiquette of professional photography now 😊
Mary A , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
It is critical to prioritize. Not only for your sanity but also to enable you to offer the best customer service possible.
With maternity sessions, and newborn sessions, the ultimate schedule is that of my clients. When the baby decides to come is when the session will be scheduled. I will not overbook thereby leaving time to switch some times around if need be. My best tactic is communication. I keep all,f my clients informed of my schedule and if there are any issues. I have never had this go wrong for me.
Please tell us Mary A, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I have a strategy with every photo session I do. That enables me to offer the highest quality time with my client and allows me to give my client a sense of confidence in me and the service/product I am offering them.
I start planning the session a few days ahead of time (or weeks if it is a model concept shoot). I request images of them before the pre-consultation so that I can line up color options, posing options, and prop options for the pre-Consult. Once that is discussed, my client knows what to expect when they come to the studio for the actual shoot.
Mary A, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
One of the many things that my professional training has given me is the ability to see what the client would be happier with. Granted, some of the poses feel very awkward, and your client looks at you as though you're on drugs, but there is an easy fix for that. I tell them we're going to play a little game. We'll shoot the pose they want and then shoot the pose I'm suggesting, and they can select the one they like better. 99.99% of the time it is my awkward pose they like 😊
Mary A, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want with share to everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment as a photographer was the recent Bronze Medalist Award through IPC. I was ecstatic. It was such a personal pat on the back for me as it told me that my efforts of the last few years had paid off and that felt awesome. There were so many times I wanted to throw in the towel with frustration. Slogging away to attain my CPP, working toward a client base, and starting the journey of competition were all worth it now 😊
Mary A, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I love being creative. I always thought I missed my calling as I sat behind a desk for 36 years in the Oil & Gas Industry. Now I am able to awaken those skills and challenge them with every shoot I do.
I get these visions in my head of how I want something to look. Whether it be with lighting, posing or props and the challenge is bringing it to life. I can't tell you how thrilled I get when I make it happen. A real confidence booster
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Education, education, education. I can't say it enough. Too many people today call themselves photographers when they are not. Their images look like snapshots. Strive to set yourself apart from this group. Take a certification course, shoot on manual, join a club, network, and never stop growing your skills. Before you know it, your images will stand out from the crowd and you will be on your way to being a professional photographer
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am looking to collaborate with all categories. There is something I can learn from every style of shooting and be able to apply it, in some way, to my brand.
Now for the best part Mary A! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Mary A Wallace @elementsoflightphotography