What-a-Woman: Marisa Vitale

Marisa Vitale is a photographer based out of Venice Beach, California. She lives with her husband and twins. Marisa specializes in capturing products, interiors, travels, and portraits and has worked with brands including Apartment Therapy, Bossladies Magazine, and Williams Sonoma. At The Little Market, we have had the pleasure of collaborating with Marisa on several photoshoots. To learn more about her, read her interview below and follow her on Instagram @marisavitalephoto!

Photo by Dabito

You received a degree in international relations. What inspired you to study this during college?

My parents met as international flight attendants for Pan Am airlines while based in London, England. My mother is from Minnesota and my father is from Argentina. Hearing their stories of distant lands broadened my horizons starting at an early age. Starting in high school, I would spend every summer traveling in another country to experience other cultures and ways of living. My love of understanding other cultures led me to be an Anthropology and Community Studies/Social Justice major in undergrad at UC Santa Cruz, but it wasn’t until Grad School that I decided to delve deeper into understanding not so much how other people live, but how their environments, social relations, organizational development, etc. could also be improved.

When did you first know this was what you wanted to do?

When I was six years old, I started using a plastic 110 film camera and was hooked immediately.

What are your favorite things to photograph?

I love photographing people in their natural element. Also, interiors of people’s homes and products that have some type of give-back quality built into their system.

Marisa Vitale - InterviewPhoto by Marisa Vitale

Where is your favorite place to take photos?

Another country! Or wide open nature scapes. Or, in someone’s home or office or studio space. Can you tell yet that I can’t choose one favorite?

Marisa Vitale - Interiors - InterviewPhoto by Marisa Vitale

What do you love most about what you do?

 

Which accomplishment in your life so far are you the most proud of and why?

Two-fold here. Having twins and making it through that tornado of the first few years with little help. Also have the courage to follow my passion of photography. While working a desk job for 10 years, I always wished from afar that I could do something more creative. When I finally had enough of the routine that was soul crushing for me, I jumped ship and started my photography career full-time (while I was pregnant no less) and haven’t looked back ever since.

Photo by Nicki Sebastian

What words of wisdom could you provide to others who want to get into photography?

Shoot, shoot, shoot. Just keep practicing and shoot things that move you. Everything else will fall into place if you follow your passion.

Marisa Vitale - LandscapesPhoto by Marisa Vitale

How do you balance working and being a mom?

I haven’t figured this out yet, so if anyone has some tips, please let me know! But I do try and be really mindful that when I’m with my kids I’m not working. I want to be present with them and not distracted by my job. I just got a studio space, so that has helped dramatically from keeping me looking at my computer at home while my kids are playing.

Marisa Vitale - Colorado Road TripPhoto by Marisa Vitale

What has motherhood taught you?

Accept the chaos when there’s nothing you can do to change it, roll with the waves of frustration and utter bliss, and be thankful for every day.

What have your children taught you?

To see the world with new eyes and a different perspective, to be patient and accepting and to love unconditionally. And most importantly, to slow down and see life as such a beautiful gift.

Marisa Vitale - Kids - Road TripPhoto by Marisa Vitale

What do you love the most about being a mom?

Seeing the world through their innocent eyes. I get to experience so many things with them as their firsts, it’s such a joyful experience seeing someone filled with utter glee with a first. And to top it all off, the unbounding love for your children is truly like nothing else.

Which items from The Little Market are in your home?

Market baskets, dish towels, and cheese boards

Photo by Marisa Vitale

What is your favorite product from The Little Market?

It seems simple, but the rainbow colored dish towel I have brings a smile to my face every time I see it, especially with groggy eyes in the mornings.

Photo Courtesy of The Little Market

What matters most to you when you shop?

How is it made, who has made it, and does it benefit anyone

What does “fair trade” mean to you?

That everyone involved is treated fairly, that nobody is being taken advantage of based on where they live, what country they come from, etc.

To see some of her travel tips, take a look at the interview here.

A special thank you to Marisa for contributing to our What-a-Woman series! We had so much learning more about her story.

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