Photographer’s passion reignited during travel

Marie MacPherson said she can remember arranging her Barbie dolls into poses for family portraits when she was barely out of diapers.

“As a 6-year-old, I saved my pennies and nickels, and the very first purchase I remember making was a sleek black film camera,” said MacPherson, an emerging artist, author and mother of six.

As vice president of Into Your Hands, MacPherson uses her elementary education degree to offer research, consulting, publishing, training and advocacy services. Her husband, Ryan, works with her in the company.

While her education didn’t include photography, she has been able to hone the skills she learned from her younger years in camera club.

“I think I instinctively morphed my love of art and design into creating visually appealing educational materials for my children, as well as making my home into a place of beauty — at least as much as toddlers would let me,” she said.

MacPherson’s passion for photography was reignited several years ago when she had the opportunity to travel. With the help of a continuing education photography course and online tutorials, she has been able to polish her craft, which is often influenced by people and places closest to her.

“To be honest, my kids are my favorite, and the most practical people to photograph,” she said. “My mother went to heaven last year, and while she was living, she suffered from dementia. Her lack of memory fueled my passion for photography both practically and metaphorically. I documented my daily life and the life of her grandchildren in photos to visually share my life with her, even though she was unable to communicate much.”

As a photographer, MacPherson said she is a beauty hunter.

“I capture a moment’s appearance, slowing down time’s progression of the subject, giving thanks for the exact moment seized by the blink of a lens,” she said. “The scene is then preserved indefinitely, shared in the future, regardless of the decay that time may bring to the actual person or place. My search for universal beauty and hope through art is in marked contrast to many other avante-garde artists, always looking for something contemporary and bizarre. Instead, my approach is classical, timeless.”

With so many digital images, MacPherson said she brainstormed a creative way to repurpose them as wall art and greeting cards. Her work also will be displayed in November at the Blue Earth County Library.

“My favorite shots include vast landscapes of majestic mountains, or conversely, crumbling canyons,” MacPherson said. “Others feature intense close-ups: eyes of an amphibian, the delicate fingers of a woman dying, or gossamer petals. I also give attention to extremes in lighting and colors, adjusting contrast digitally to capture a moment’s emotion, yet respecting nature’s integrity.”

Her faith also has been a drive in her photography.

“Even, and perhaps especially, during illness, disasters, pandemics and personal pain, we all crave beauty, love and hope.”

Photography creates an opportunity to imagine the possibilities of the future, MacPherson said.

“By examining the outside of a scene in a snapshot, I’m allowed to dig beyond what meets the eye, excavating through the surface into the emotions of the scene,” she said. “Each shot is a chance to be grateful in the present, passionately pursuing the truth, beauty and goodness for which every human yearns.”

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