How would you like to meet and photograph fashion designers and attend New York Fashion Week, twice? Sounds cool, right? Well this was reality for Maine native Maranda Bouchard. Bouchard became interested in photography during her time at Bangor High.
“I definitely lived in photo class and in the dark room in high school,” she said. “And I realized that I liked it, and was good at it.”
She started small, doing her friends high school senior pictures. From there she attended The University of Maine for a few years before transferring to the Hallmark Institute of Photography, which she described as “boot camp for photography.”
After “boot camp”, Bouchard returned to Maine and worked for Lifetouch doing school portraits. She worked for a couple more photography companies before branching out on her own. She moved to New York City, the center of fashion and photography, doing freelance work. This is when Bouchard got involved with fashion photography.
She first went to New York Fashion Week for fun; a photographer she was working for had an extra ticket. Going to fashion week had been something that she had always wanted to do, and she jumped on the opportunity get the experience.
“When I first walked in I had to take a breath almost,” she said. “You see it on TV and you think you know what it’s like, but when you’re there it’s a weird feeling. Weird in a good way.”
Bouchard went to fashion week as a buyer later on in her career. She went with her employer to photograph the various runway looks for them, so they could go back, take a closer look, and figure out what they wanted to purchase. Going as a buyer/photographer was far different than going for fun.
“We went to a lot of shows that week. It was very hectic and busy,” Bouchard said. “There wasn’t really a lot of time to lay back and enjoy it. It was just going going going.”
Aside from coveted tickets to fashion week,
Bouchard has had some more experiences that many would love to have. She did product photography major department stores and she even photographed several designers including the duo from Cushnie et Ochs, Tony Ward, Alejandro Ingelmo and Christian Siriano (pictured right). What was it like taking photos of successful fashion designers?
“It was very inspiring to see how hard they work, especially in an industry perceived as very glamorous,” she said. In regards to photographing Project Runway’s Christian
Siriano, Bouchard said, “He was great– so humble and professional being so young and ridiculously talented and successful.”
After all of her experiences, Bouchard has taken a different direction with her photography—people, mainly families and kids. She started her own photography business as a portrait photographer in 2010. She did promotions through Livingsocial and Groupon, which made her schedule crazy, but all the craziness has made her realize that portrait photography may in fact be her niche.
“I love working with kids and families. That’s just really fun.”
She’s done fashion, she’s done products, she’s done families, she even threw in a bit of architecture, but when it comes down to it Bouchard said she really doesn’t have a favorite. She just loves photography, and she encourages anyone else who loves photography to never give up, no matter how unconventional the path may seem. As Bouchard’s life shows, you never know where you’ll go.
“Photography has allowed me to have all of these experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. They’re all learning experiences. They’re all pretty amazing,” she said. “When I look back I don’t have any regrets.”