Name of business: Marilyn Days Photography
Type of business: Wedding and lifestyle photographer
Hours: By appointment
Location: On site
Contact information: www.marilyndays.com
Specialty: In-home sessions
History of business:
Ironically, the first time Marilyn Diaz picked up a camera at a wedding, she had never even used a professional camera before. Asked by her drama instructor if she would like to serve as a second photographer during a wedding shoot, the Pitman High School graduate nervously accepted. Fast forward nearly six years later, where Diaz now operates the one-woman business of Marilyn Days Photography, snapping weddings, engagements, portraits and more.
“I remember taking my first photo, looking at it and realizing it looked like a still from a movie,” said Diaz. “I fell in love with it.”
She started out just shooting weddings, then eventually dove into the world of portraits. Diaz takes a self-described photojournalistic approach to photo shoots, telling a story with each click of her camera’s shutter. While many shoots tend to take place in the middle of impressive scenery, like the nearby rolling foothills or more distant locations such as the beach, Diaz’s favorite backdrop is often her client’s own home.
“Usually in this area, everyone is used to meeting in a pretty location, which I’m comfortable with, but in a sense I can capture clients better when they’re in their own environment,” said Diaz.
Children are often more comfortable taking pictures at home, she explained, and a photo of a mother cuddling her son in their living room chair can sometimes mean more than a staged photo in a remote location.
“I try to capture my clients in their truest form,” said Diaz.
The 23-year-old photographer, who is in the middle of planning her own wedding, prides herself on making her clients feel comfortable and confident, whether it be right before they walk down the aisle or while they’re celebrating another one of life’s milestones, like taking senior pictures.
“I would like to say my specialty is making my clients see themselves in a light that they haven’t seen before,” said Diaz. “I really like to build up my clients’ confidence because everyone is their own worst critic.”
In addition to photographing the community’s residents, Diaz has also worked with local businesses to help show what they’re all about in photo form, including Warrior Yoga, La Mo Cafe and Restaurant, Dust Bowl Brewing Co. and Whitney Shelhamer Fine Jewelry.
“All of these awesome businesses were popping up around town. It got exciting to finally see Turlock get the ball rolling, so I would show up with my camera and take photos,” said Diaz. “If they liked it they paid me for it.”
Just “showing up” turned out to work in Diaz’s favor, and more opportunities arose from her go-getter attitude. Her photographs of Dust Bowl’s brewery taproom can be found throughout the restaurant’s website, and those looking for inspiration to make it to a morning yoga class need to look no further than the Warrior Yoga instagram account, where Diaz’s photos are often used.
“My goal is for people to see a photo and know it’s my work without having my name on it,” said Diaz. “Photography has become everyone’s gateway to Instagram likes, and that glosses over the real meaning of photography, which is capturing memories and then being able to cherish it forever for generations to come.”
To view Diaz’s work, visit www.marilyndays.com, her Instagram page @marilyndaysphoto or find her on Facebook at Marilyn Days Photography.