I ask about her greatest inspiration. The answer speaks volumes. Her choice to exchange a highly remunerative career for a niche in photographic art was influenced by Alan Watts; the wise man and writer who lived in the circa 1960s Waldo Point houseboat community in Sausalito, CA. She supplies a link. It's by Watts and entitled "What would you do if money wasn't an object."
"What he is saying is absolutely true," she says. "They teach you all your life to run after money, but this won't give you satisfaction. You need to follow your passion to become successful."
"I think I just have a unique skill set," she says. "Technical skills are easy for me but at the same time I am creative and think unconventionally." And Marianna wanted a deeper level, something more than knowledge of modes of business.
She had always had an interest in photography. She bought an SLR camera about five years ago and discovered a passion she didn't realize she possessed. "It just clicked in," she says. " I have been going around everywhere with the camera and looking for amazing views, better angles, better composition, different settings and light..."
Marianna exudes charm and self confidence. We banter during the Skype session about inconsequential matters. She's entertaining to interview, and although a beauty in her own right, although she has European flair and continental style, she's plainly down to earth. This approachable aspect musters ingredients of social skill which aid to sharpen the makings of her art.
As well traveled as Marianna is, having visited sixteen European countries from Spain to Bosnia to Ukraine, she fastened on Ecuador in South America as type and perhaps haven of second home. She lived six months in Ecuador's capital city of Quito, speaks Spanish, English and Polish, and raved about the topography of this small yet diverse country.
She currently lives in the mountains of Ecuador near Cotopaxi, where I wager a good portion of her most spectacular landscape photographs have been taken.
Marianna reports not only with visuals but with writing that sometimes bring distant parts of the world close to where the reader. Her photo-reportage on Ukraine is immersive, an amalgamation of history, current conflict and compelling photographic tale. For my part, with my measure of interest in current affairs and international relations, her story on the tumult in Ukraine intrigues. I had no idea of the depth of what it has been like over there.
|Anna Maria Marianna|
Photos by Anna Maria Marianna