Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Wiedenmann.
Hi Marie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
When I was a kid, I loved photography. I would carry around a disposable camera almost everywhere I went. I had a bit of a rough childhood, so I really appreciated capturing and holding onto the happy memories. In high school, my favorite class was Photography. I always enjoyed it, and I have always been the creative type. I never considered making photography a career.
I was headed towards becoming a cosmetologist, and it was my dream to someday own my own salon. I LOVED cosmetology school and was doing well, but family issues derailed my plans a bit and I ended up making a large move and had to put it on hold. In order to get back to my dream, I worked a banking job to earn the funds to get back to cosmetology school… Then I met my husband. He was commissioning as an officer in the Air Force and my love for him far outweighed my love for doing hair and the idea of owning my own salon. If you know anything about military families, you know staying in one place for very long was typically unheard of.
Fast forward about four years, we were living in a new state, married, and I was due with our first daughter, Charlotte (We call her Charlie). I picked up a DSLR, which was very new to me since I had only shot film. I documented everything from the moment our daughter was born. And… I. Was. Awful. SOMEHOW, people started asking me to take photos of their families and kids! (I still apologize to the people who hung those photos on their walls.) It took off… slowly and without much help.
I found that (at the time) there were not many photographers who were willing to share any information that would be helpful, so I am completely self-taught. Now, I try to go out of my way to help people starting their own businesses — even photographers! There are enough clients for all of us! After years of dabbling in any kind of photography you can think of, I braved a boudoir shoot for a friend and absolutely fell in love with the genre. As a female who grew up seeing Victoria’s Secret fashion shows and girls in magazines that looked nothing like my 5ft stature, it’s so amazing to me that I have the ability to help women feel amazing JUST AS THEY ARE.
After several years as a military family, we have finally settled down in the Kansas City area as civilians! This is the 3rd time I have had to rebuild my business due to relocation, but this is forever for us – thank goodness! Our new property includes a new photography studio that our family designed and built. It has plenty of privacy for boudoir, but also cool enough for Senior Portraits (my other specialty), too!
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?
Learning the ins + outs of photography on a DSLR (vs film camera) took some time. Once I got the hang of it, though, that part is now the easiest part of having a photography business. I often tell people that I just want to take pretty pictures. Moving from Oklahoma to Alaska, back to Oklahoma, and now Kansas has meant a lot of work when it comes to marketing myself, staying present on social media, and networking. I’m a somewhat extroverted introvert, so getting out in front of new people can be really intimidating for me. Aside from that, being a mom of two active girls means a lot of balancing work + home life. I’m very thankful for the clients who understand that I may still be in my PJ’s when they show up for their session. Ha!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
In my photography career, I have shot a little bit of everything. I realized with a lot of trial and error that I am best at Boudoir and Senior Portraits. Those two genres bring me the most joy because it brings others so much joy. I love to help teens and adults feel amazing about themselves; it’s SO fulfilling!
I’m lucky enough to have clientele all over the world — thanks to our Air Force family, and most people know I am ALWAYS up for an adventure. I have been flown to a few really awesome locations for sessions. Other than being adventurous, a lot of our friends like to joke about me taking photos of naked people for a living.
When it comes to what I am most proud of, it would have to be my daughters; Charlie and Joey. They’re incredible girls and the fact that I have something to do with that is pretty cool.
I try to make each session, whether boudoir or senior portraits, different and unique to the individual. The last thing I want is for everyone’s images to blend together. Each session will have a bit of a different vibe, location, etc.! For boudoir specifically, I am really lucky to have been able to design a studio with years of experience under my belt and a vision all my own. What was once a horse barn, is now a studio with several different looks – to include a SHOWER. To top it all off, it’s on acreage with a gate. You can’t get more private than that.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Thankfully, the photography community has become so much more welcoming and there are countless people out there who have shared a location, technique, words of wisdom, etc.!
If there is anyone who I couldn’t have done this without, it’s my husband. While my accidental career has been amazing, it wasn’t our plan by any means. I had planned to be a stay at home mom and photography was a (successful) oops! Working on nights and weekends can be frustrating, but he’s been patient with me. Aside from the obvious things that come along with being a parent, he was the one who suggested building my first studio when we were in Oklahoma the second time, here in Kansas. We have now built two studios. Long nights and weekends were spent by him and other friends and family in Oklahoma and Kansas. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful support system.
- Boudoir Packages begin at $1300
- Senior Portrait Packages begin at $700
- Branding Packages begin at $475
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: chiccharliesphotography.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/chiccharliesphotography
- Facebook: Facebook.com/chiccharliesphotography
- Other: https://linktr.ee/mariewiedenmann