Maria PoncePonce 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 worldâ€”from New York to Paris to L.A.â€”Maria returned to Chicago (sheâ€™s a Wilmette native) to open her super-hip Ravenswood studio (her found and flea-esque digs are an artistâ€™s dream). And she recently expanded on her business to start Born and Raised Photography, a venture that shoots the coolest portraits of kids youâ€™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.
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Q: Youâ€™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.Â I started using the Clarisonic MIA to prevent breakouts, and BIO-OIL on my belly (and other places that wonâ€™t stop growing). I also take more time in the morning to actually do my make-up and my hair properlyâ€”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.Â I always had the desire to freeze human moments through art, but I was not gifted at painting and drawing.Â 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.Â Sometimes the subject may not like what they see, but I think most subjects feel like Iâ€™m telling their fortuneâ€”its always interesting to learn what someone else finds beautiful about you.
Q: Please tell usâ€”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 arenâ€™t touching even if your mouth is closed.
Q: Noted. Anything else?
A:Â Confidence is the most beautiful trait of all, but it doesnâ€™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.