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Meet Mariya Stangl of Mariya Stangl Photography in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariya Stangl.

Mariya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I had a completely different idea of what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated high school and undergraduate college. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and after 5 years fighting against our healthcare system and working in nonprofits, I decided it was no longer ethical for me to practice in that environment and decided to go back to school for my Master’s degree.

I stumbled upon the idea of being an artist again (had debated it in high school) when I realized that people actually made a living taking photographs of other people, models, fashion, etc. I had this moment where I was like, “Holy shit, I can totally do that.” I had previously trained in fine art in high school and had even taken a college drawing course my senior year but, having come from a rural life in Montana, was discouraged from pursuing art in a real way. I secretly (to my family) enrolled in a summer course in 2013 from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the rest is history.

Has it been a smooth road?
Oh, 100% no. Going to graduate school was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I completely switched my career and my life 360 degrees. Nothing about this has been easy, but it’s been the most satisfying experience of my life.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mariya Stangl Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I am currently a portrait, fashion and event photographer. I have been freelancing professionally since May of 2017. My first love is fashion photography but I have found myself in some really cool places, surrounded by some fascinating people, doing event photography, nightlife and parties.

I am most famous for an image that ran in the September issue of Interview magazine, that show was in my universities famed Spring Show that year, which is highly competitive. The following year, the year of my graduation, my self-printed portfolio won an Honorable Mention from a community of national judges.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the fashion photography industry going completely digital. Much to my chagrin, as I love fashion magazines, flipping through them has been a lifelong source of artistic inspiration. I see other technological advancements happening in the future and wish I was in a place to patent those ideas. 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@mariyastanglphotography, Mariya Stangl

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