Hello and welcome to my brand new photography website! As a new photographer diving into her journey mid-COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home-orders, I am so excited to share my new and old work with you and hopefully meet some of you in the not too distant future! I recognize our current situation is analogous and scary and there’s really no blueprint for what to do during a global pandemic. I feel super lucky and am extremely grateful that I have been able to work from home, and while doing so, am left with an abundance of free time. In that free time I’ve been hustling to create this new website and have started creating my own blueprint for Skyler Maire Photography.
So if you’re new here (everyone’s new, duh), I’d like to share a little bit about myself and how I got to where I am today.
I grew up in the country in Minnesota, in a small town called Afton. My parents live on a hobby farm where they raise chickens, sheep, the occasional goat or two, and dogs. So as a child I spent my days hanging out with the chickens, walking the dogs, and making forts in the woods. I would constantly have friends over and one of our favorite things to do was take out my parent’s old video camera and mess around, making silly videos. We would film everything. We made skits, filmed the animals, took silly videos of us accomplishing chores my parents would ask me to do and friends would voluntarily help me out. I loved being creative and making silly videos with my friends. And I absolutely loved that camera.
I have always been a creative person. Though in high school I was labeled as more of a jock. I was a three sport athlete all through jr. high and high school. By the time I got to college I was so exhausted with having sports year round and was looking forward to more freedom and open time to do other things. So I opted to do club frisbee instead.
I went to college for filmmaking at UW-Milwaukee. Wisconsin was just a small skip away from my parent’s hometown in Minnesota so it was a perfect change of scenery. I spent my free time cycling around the city, running the river trails, taking photos, going on brewery tours, enjoying weekend brunch, and so much more! I loved living in Milwaukee but after 4+ years, I was ready to explore the world. So I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok and met some filmmaker friends across the world to start making our own documentary videos.
We traveled all throughout Southeast Asia, working on a series of short documentary videos about local people, telling their stories. I had never traveled abroad with people other than my own family. I had never jumped from one hostel to the other day after day, carrying my pack on my back (that was full of videography equipment) wherever I went. It was a sharp learning curve and I had SO much fun doing it. It is easily one of the best and most valuable experiences of my life thus far. You learn so much not only about other people and other cultures when you’re traveling, but about yourself. You test your limits and are constantly problem solving.
We missed the train. When is the next one?
Our bus dropped us off at 2am. None of the hostels are open. Where do we go now?
We’re lost and almost out of gas. How are we going to get back to the hotel?
We’ve been waiting for nearly 2 hours. What if no one picks us up?
But you learn that it always works out. Always.
After a year back with the parents working at a senior living home, my brother invited me to move out to California with him. California? I thought? San Francisco, Bay Area? I’ve never even been there before!
I was SO excited and immediately jumped at the offer. After a quick visit, I made plans, packed a couple bags, and flew myself out to his small home in San Rafael, California. I got a job working at a Montessori School and have been living here since! Almost three years now in the Bay Area and I am absolutely loving every minute of it!
I am still working (from home) at the Montessori School but am ready to start growing this new biz of mine. Having my own photography business has been my dream for five years or so now. I’ll admit I haven’t always known what I want to do which is why I’ve worked in so many different industries; restaurants, senior living homes, schools… Every time I work in a new industry I learn a little bit more about myself; strengths and weaknesses, what my preferences are, who I work best with, etc. For example, I need a sweet mix of both brain stimulating work and straight up busy work throughout the day. I go a little bit brain dead if I’m staring at a computer and thinking too hard hour after hour. I need a break. Something that involves a little bit of movement is the best.
So here I am in sunny California in quarantine. I’ve got to say that I feel so incredibly lucky for my whole situation right now. I’m grateful for my employer and coworkers, my students and their families, my brother and my boyfriend. I’m grateful for California sunshine and having fresh vegetables delivered to my front door. (We got our first box today – I’m so excited!) I’m grateful for my health and my bicycle and high speed internet. I could go on and on but I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge how many gifts I have, and to say THANK YOU to our health care workers, our delivery drivers, grocery store clerks, and anybody and everybody who has to go into work every day, putting themselves and their loved ones at home at risk. And another thank you to those of you who have been diligently sticking to the stay at home orders. Whatever your situation is, you are not alone. I’m not saying everyone can truly empathize with everyone else’s situation. They are vastly different across the world. Take a moment to reflect on your blessings, and know if you’re having troubles, there’s someone out there feeling the same things as you.
Keep calm and carry on,
May 6, 2020