Mariah Maddox

a visual storyteller.

I first found my interest in photos when my mother used to pull out her old shoeboxes full of captured stills. This was our love language, a favorite pastime that we share to this day. Dusting off the boxes, fingers rummaging through memories, smiles creeping across our faces as we reveled in each moment of time.

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Getting behind the camera felt natural for me. As a photographer, I study people and capture them in their rawest moments, in their most glorious forms, knowing that such a beautiful thing might often never be returned. And in this craft, I am completely ok with that. It is a gift to be able to look into the souls of other people and see their beauty for what it is, even if that isn't reciprocated. I often use myself as a muse because in order for me to see that divine beauty in others, I have to see it and feel it within myself as well.

What I do is more than work. It's creating experiences that expands people’s horizons and connects them with a world that they may be unfamiliar with. It's capturing feelings and thoughts that are often too hard or too heavy to put into words.

"Sometimes I feel like holding a camera is as vulnerable as it gets."

Through what I create, all mediums of art intertwine and become one. I explore the relationships between photography, poetry, videography, and sound to interpret the words that are foreign to my tongue, the words that I cannot speak or find, but rather yet feel within my bones. Art is how I communicate. It is how I understand the languages I do not know. It is how I connect and create harmony. So as a visual storyteller, I use my work to do just that. I feel. I teach. I learn. I bridge the gaps that exist within this world.

Sometimes I feel like holding a camera is as vulnerable as it gets. People allow you to see into their insecurities, their flaws. And somehow, your own tend to also be unveiled in the process. This is who I feel like I am as a visual storyteller. It’s not a job. It's not a way to make ends meet. Sometimes it feels deeper than a passion—yet I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is. Maybe it’s a way of translating the world around me. Whatever it is, I’m very thankful to exist in this creative space. To hold presence here. To capture stories through visuals. I’m finding that this is a large part of me—and yet, there’s so much more.