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Meet Marlin Leiva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marlin Leiva.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Guatemala and came to California when I was four years old. I’ve lived in Los Angeles all of my life and wouldn’t live anywhere else. I am the oldest of three which means I got the pleasure of washing dishes when I was younger. My parents were hard workers and instilled that ethic into us. Their biggest concern was that we get an education, my father was always telling us that “nobody can take your education away” so I followed through and now own a very expensive piece of paper. I took my first photography class in high school. It was full hands on black and white film processing and printing, I loved it! After high school I attended Woodbury University in Burbank and majored in Graphic Design. In between all the design classes I managed to sneak in a photography class, my professor loved what I captured and that gave me a boost of confidence. Once I graduated I didn’t pick up a camera until 2011 when I was laid off from the print shop I was working at. Like all new mothers my daughter was my constant subject and I would post the images onto Facebook. When I started seeing some positive feedback I thought why not try this for a living. I started offering my photographic services and booked a few family sessions and weddings, I didn’t have constant work so I went back to the printing industry because you know, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves. Since then I only manage to do photography on my spare time, weekends mostly but hopefully one day it will become my full-time business.

Please tell us about your art.
My art is photography. I love catching those candid moments at a wedding or between a family. My inspiration is knowing that the images I capture will be treasured for years to come by my clients. When I’m photographing I’m looking for the details, the smiles, the looks they think I’m not seeing. I try to do as much of the work in camera so that my editing is minimal and my clients get their images faster. What you see in my images is what I see through my lens. I usually will just go in and brighten up an image, make the colors pop a little more or remove that stray person in the background that wouldn’t move.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I think conditions for artists are much easier and accessible now but because of that a lot of authenticity is lost and plagiarism is a big problem. I think life as an artist is easier but at the same time it’s hard because you have to constantly be on the lookout that your art isn’t being used for something else that hasn’t been approved by you.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be seen on Instagram, @marlinleivaphoto. My Facebook page: My work can be supported by sharing my work, commenting on my images, recommendations, word of mouth or just stop and say hello!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images are my own.

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