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Maria Ponce Spotlight

Maria Ponce

Ponce Photography

G&F recently worked with photographer Maria Ponce for a portrait story on some of our favorite Chicagoans (It’s coming out next week!). While she captured beauty on one side of the lens for G&F, she simply radiates beauty from behind it. After having traveled the world—from New York to Paris to L.A.—Maria returned to Chicago (she’s a Wilmette native) to open her super-hip Ravenswood studio (her found and flea-esque digs are an artist’s dream). And she recently expanded on her business to start Born and Raised Photography, a venture that shoots the coolest portraits of kids you’ve ever seen (i.e. the total opposite of Anne Geddes). And the timing was fitting, too: Maria herself is pregnant, and looking more radiant than ever. With a booming business, baby on board and, we forgot to mention, a smokin’ hot hubby, this is one glam gal who we’re definitely not taking off our radar. We grilled her on her beauty regime and, of course, got a few tips on how to be more photogenic.

BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>>  scent: BALENCIAGA PARIS // body lotion: NIVEA SMOOTH SENSATION // concealer: YVES SAINT LAURENT TOUCHE ECLAT RADIANT TOUCH in LUMINOUS RADIANCE // bronzer: NARS BLUSH BRONZER DUO IN ORGASM/LAGUNA // mascara: DIORSHOW MASCARA // lips: NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL in DRAGON GIRL or DOLCE VITA // nails: ESSIE TOPLESS AND BAREFOOT // eyebrows: LE SOURCIL DE CHANEL PERFECT BROWS // must-have-for-special-occassions: SHU UEMURA INDIVIDUAL FLARE EYELASHES

Q: You’re pregnant! And you look amazing: what has changed in your beauty routine since becoming a mom-to-be?
A: That is very kind. I have had to make some changes, mostly having to do with skincare.  I started using the Clarisonic MIA to prevent breakouts, and BIO-OIL on my belly (and other places that won’t stop growing). I also take more time in the morning to actually do my make-up and my hair properly—no one wants to see a sloppy pregnant lady, not good form!

Q: You come from a super artistic family, is that what encouraged you to get into photography?
A: Growing up watching my mom paint the human form from nude models made me see the beauty in real people from a young age.  I always had the desire to freeze human moments through art, but I was not gifted at painting and drawing.  Luckily I discovered the camera.

Q: What do you look for when shooting a subject?
A: If I am able to illustrate his or her spirit through a photograph, I feel like I did my job well.  Sometimes the subject may not like what they see, but I think most subjects feel like I’m telling their fortune—its always interesting to learn what someone else finds beautiful about you.

Q: Please tell us—How can we look more beautiful in photos?
A: Most people hold all the tension of their lives in their mouths, so try to relax your mouth. Make sure your teeth aren’t touching even if your mouth is closed.

Q: Noted. Anything else?
A:  Confidence is the most beautiful trait of all, but it doesn’t hurt to be healthy from the inside out. So never slack on the hygiene and be mindful of what you eat.

Q: Who are your fashion and beauty icons?
A: Isabella Rossellini circa 1978 is my beauty icon. For fashion, Alexander McQueen and Frida Kahlo.

Mama Mia! See Maria’s baby must-haves on The G&F Blog.
And see more of Maria’s work at PoncePhotography.com.