Journey Story: Marianne Ellis

woman in white dress blurry black and white photography lensbaby journey story marianne ellis

Welcome to Lensbaby Journeys. We have asked photographers to write about their journey with photography and with Lensbaby, in any way they want to approach it. Each piece will come directly from an individual photographer in their own words, accompanied by their photographs. Our hope is that these journey stories will resonate with you, inspire you, and push you forward on your own path.

What is your Lensbaby journey, Marianne?

I first discovered photography in 2008 as I became drawn to exploring my creativity, something I hadnt done since leaving high school. The camera intuitively felt like a natural choice so I embarked on further studies in photography. Aside from learning the technical aspects of photography, what really changed from a personal perspective was how I viewed the world. Every time I explored my environment, I realized my awareness was getting sharper and my senses were heightened. The benefit of this was that it was highly therapeutic, bringing positive effects and calming my busy mind. It was easy to lose hours whilst in the flow of taking photographs, which I liken to being in a meditative state. My belief is when the senses are awoken we begin to open ourselves up, allowing more self-exploration and gaining powerful insights into our selves.

Whilst I explored all aspects of photography, I was naturally drawn to creating blurred images and my goal was always to represent what I was seeing through the lens in a way that would bring energy, movement and life to the image. My passion became creating intimate moments that were minimalist, often cropping to focus on a small portion of a scene. I noticed that this created an effect that was abstract and bold, invoking feeling and emotion.

Lensbaby was a perfect fit for my new perspective on life and my desire to create images that were felt with heart and soul. Each image has a narrative and will unfold differently for each viewer. Embracing individuality when it comes to being creative is crucial to my own values, and I dont create for the approval of others. What I learn, see and hear is what matters and how photography makes me feel. As of the last few years, I rarely take images that are not with my Lensbaby, as I always feel like something is missing... that cinematic effect I adore.

Realising so many therapeutic benefits in photography, I recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Arts in Counselling. Photography is not hugely recognized for its healing benefits as art, yet its equally powerful in my opinion. Expression through the lens is a wonderful way to explore emotions without words. Lensbaby takes this concept to a deeper level, and it naturally guides you to look deeper at what you are seeing. I have found that because photography brings you into the present moment, it is also very helpful for those suffering from anxiety or depression. Bringing a much-needed focus from headspace and over-thinking into what is happening in the moment. Breaking into a busy mind can be challenging with counselling, meditation or similar methods. Photography works for this on several levels. Firstly, you have something else to focus on other than the thoughts that occupy your mind, and also it requires active concentration. This focused space is less full of distraction, so without realising what has happened, you are transformed into a state of mind that is more relaxed.

My passion now is creating images that authentically represent my own self-expression, and allowing myself to be more vulnerable with each click of the shutter. What motivates me is inspiring others to begin their own creative journey with photography, and supporting them through creative blocks and challenges they face. Photography is the perfect tool to lead you into discovering aspects of yourself that were hidden or lost. Lensbaby may be the tool to uncovering yourself and the world around you, after which you can never go back. Anything else is not enough.

To see more of Marianne's work, visit her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Do you have a Lensbaby journey story that you'd like to share? Email us at

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