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Conversations with Marissa Webb Tonkovic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Webb Tonkovic.

Marissa, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
It’s funny really – when I was about 13 I was handed a camera with film… I photographed one of my dad’s Shakespearean Productions at RVC Studio theatre in Rockford, Il. It was slide film and needless to say… it didn’t go so well. But I was determined to learn all the things about photography. I went to Columbia College in Chicago and majored in photography with my BFA (2009) and as if that wasn’t enough, I was fortunate to study with some incredible photographer’s at Illinois State University who not only encouraged my growth as a photographer but also taught me all about documentary photography… ISU is where I earned my MFA in photography in 2014. I have always captured friends and family members events, portraits and anything in between as a side job but once we moved to Kansas City for my husband’s job, I left the world of teaching photography and took my art and crafted it into what Marissa K Webb Photography is today a true to color, documentary meets classic style of photography. A business who believes all individual’s stories deserve to be told. And by running my own business, it has allowed for me to be the best mother to my daughter, Leica and wife to Michael.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is photography a smooth road? It can and it can’t be. The work/life balance of any job offers up some challenges but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d say my biggest struggle was when I relocated and I took the plunge to go full time – it took me about a year to get myself grounded and it has been an adventure ever since.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a documentary photographer by trade but I also am known for those classic portraits that might land on your grandparent’s mantle. I believe that love is love and that everyone deserves lasting memories to be captured. I have clients who come to me from all over the metro area because they have heard that I photograph awesome kiddos (or kids with special needs). They have told me that they appreciate my willingness to work with their families challenges. I am always mindful of bad days or situations that arise allowing for flexibility and kindness as I know life can be challenging at times. I hold a special place in my business for these awesome families as I know firsthand the struggles that arise when trying to capture an awesome kid. My sister Kaitlin (age 27) has taught me a lot and shown me what it’s like to be loved unconditionally (she is special needs- nonverbal and non-ambulatory) and I use my love for her to provide families in the KC metro area the photographs that they have always wanted despite their challenges and differences. The excitement my clients share with me when their gallery is delivered is unmatched and I am always happy to do whatever it will take to give them that opportunity.

As far as being a wedding photographer too… I absolutely love my using my documentary skills to capture my client’s stories through the lens- from the start of the day to the details left on a reception table and everything in between each wedding is unique. I have always taken my theatre background (prepared for literally anything) and applied that to every wedding I photograph. Not only does my documentary style shine through but I have the ability thanks to theatre and life to fit right into any situation that arises at a wedding. Like my awesome kid clients there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my wedding couples. After all – love is love and it’s always a privilege to be there to capture their wedding day so that they can cherish it for years to come.

How do you define success?
Success to me is most defined when I come home from a wedding and my daughter is at the door ready to leap into my arms or when she waves goodbye to me from the window. That has taught me that hard work always pays off.

Pricing:

  • Portrait Sessions starting at $300
  • Wedding Packages average investment $3000
  • Branding Sessions starting at $300

Contact Info:

Image Credits
First Image of me and my family at The Garden of the Gods photo by Mackenzie Grall Imaging (http://www.mgrallimaging.com/) 8 other photos: taken by me

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