I’ve recently had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a very talented and passionate photographer from Winnipeg, Canada. Her name is Cendrine Marrouat and she seeks to capture the beauty of life in its many forms. Cendrine approaches her photography the same way she approaches her writing. Through her lens and with a careful eye, Cendrine captures a moment that needs to be told.
Cendrine, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this interview and best of luck to you with all your future work. You are a very gifted and talented photographer and someone whose work is definitely worth following.
Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Cendrine Marrouat. I was born and raised in Toulouse, France, but have lived in Canada since 2003.
I am a photographer with a passion for nature and the black-and-white format. I am also an author, blogger, and French instructor. My 11th book was released a few weeks ago.
I have had a very varied career in the writing field. So varied, in fact, that people think I lie about my age. lol
Where is home?
“Home is where the heart is,” as they say. And my heart has been in Winnipeg for the last 15 years.
After browsing through your website, I see that you have built up an extensive collection of wonderful photography. When did you first become interested in photography and how long have you been involved with it?
Thank you for your kind words.
I have always liked photography. But, until a few years ago, I didn’t know I had it in me to take decent photos.
The turning point was in 2010, after my trip to Vancouver. While looking at my shots of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, I noticed one image in particular. It was so powerful that I decided to use it on the cover of my fifth poetry book.
I felt so excited about the photo! Unfortunately, I was clueless as to how I had managed to take it. After all, I didn’t know anything about photography.
So, instead of betting on luck, I opted for self-education. I spent years reading books and doing research. I attended a couple of online courses and studied the works of my favorite photographers. Most importantly, I practiced and practiced until I felt comfortable enough to call myself a photographer. Then, in 2014, I created my photography website.
Are you formally-taught or self-taught? And what has been the best source of information along this journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
I am fully self-taught. I peruse images from other photographers daily and read/watch as many tutorials as I can.
What is your favorite part of being a photographer?
The ability to document what moves me. The world is beautiful.
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
To me, the most challenging part is the reactions from regular people. Very often, they compliment me on my gear and think that it does all the work for me. Basically, I just click the shutter, upload the images into Photoshop, et voilà! My photos will look beautiful no matter what — and without any work. I wish things were that easy!
From experience, I know that the use of clichés stems from a lack of education. If artists took the time to explain their process more often, people would be much less likely to make generalizations.
So, whenever I have the opportunity, I talk to others. I mention little things like the rule of thirds and composition. I talk about the editing process, copyrights, the number of hours I practice weekly, how many shots it often takes to get a good one, the cost of maintaining my website, etc.
And guess what? It works! The way people look at me usually changes after the conversation.
What type of session do you look forward to the most vs what type of session you most often do?
Every morning, I wake up wanting to take photos. I just live and breathe photography.
The beauty of focusing on nature is that I don’t have to rely on human beings for my shoots. All I have to do is drive to the location I want and that’s it. So I always do the sessions that I look forward to, if it makes sense.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
All of them. Nature is a wonderful teacher and muse.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
By looking at the world around me with an open mind. Photography is about telling stories.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Life and the world around me.
Share with us your favorite image and why.
I cannot pick one all-time favorite. But I will tell you about a photo that encapsulates my photographer statement really well: “My photography seeks the mundane to capture the fleeting, but true beauty of life in its many forms.”
I took it while in Kauai, Hawaii, last year. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look before pressing the shutter button.
There are several things I love about this photo: the shadow of the small gate nearby and how it directs your eyesight. And the blurriness at the edges adds a dreamy feel.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with? What is your favorite lens?
I have a Nikon D750 and three lenses:
– AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
– AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
– Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD
Each lens serves a specific purpose. It depends on what I photograph.
What is your favorite photography accessory?
What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
I have pretty much everything I need for digital photography. But I would love to try film photography.
How important is Photoshop or other image editing software in your final images?
I don’t love over-processed images. So even though I shoot RAW, I try to keep my editing minimal, with exceptions of course. Darkroom and Lightroom are great tools.
Do you have any projects that make you look back and shake your head? What made the experience so unpleasant?
Not really, to be honest. I have learnt lessons from every mistake I have made.
Are there any areas of photography that you have yet to pick up on that you’d like to learn?
As I mentioned earlier: film photography. I am a huge fan of old-fashioned processes like daguerreotypes and tintypes.
I actually pay homage to them with my Reminigrams. But, of course, it’s impossible to emulate them fully with digital photography…
What do you think the future holds for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I think the future holds great things for me. Having passions makes life very enjoyable.
I definitely want to travel more. Iceland and New Zealand have been on “my radar” for years! It would be wonderful to spend a few months in each country.