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Meet Marichu Provan of Chue Provan Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marichu Provan. 

Hi Marichu, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Hello, my name is Marichu, I go by Chue. My love for photography stems from a lack of ability to take pictures when I was young. I am from the Philippines and grew up very poor. We did not have the modern luxuries like running water, electricity, or internet. My family did not own a camera, so my childhood did not consist of any pictures or video. I know my family did the best they could for me and my sisters, but because of this, I cannot share my history with my own family. I made a goal that I would change my future for the better.

The start of my future was moving away at age 13. I went to high school at night and worked as a housekeeper during the day. This was challenging and sleep was hard to come by, but I had a goal, and I was very determined. I was able to graduate high school and started college. During this time, I also worked different jobs for income. I was not seeing my future in college, so I quit and worked full time.

My big break came at the age of 22 when I was offered a job in the country of UAE, in the food services industry. I was excited and nervous but knew that this was the right direction that I wanted for my future. Working in UAE was exciting and very comfortable for me due to the huge population of Filipinos who also worked and lived there. I was fortunate to work for the first Olive Garden restaurant in the whole UAE as a server and loved this due to getting to meet very interesting people from all over the world.

The path of my life would make another change when a really sweet American man came in to order dinner. He and I struck up a great conversation and got along great. Whenever he would come to eat, he would ask for me. Some time went by, and we became friends. His mom and stepdad came to visit him, and I got to meet them, and then we started dating. One incredible day, he took me to the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. He then asked me to be his wife. My husband said that he wanted to propose to me in a palace and he did.

After our engagement, we started the 10-month process of getting me to the United States. Less than a week after arriving in America, we were married on a beautiful beach in Florida. I then went back to work. I soon became pregnant with my son and 2 years later with my daughter. It was during this time that my photography journey began.

When we were in UAE, my husband purchased a DSLR Cannon. I began to use it there and the more I learned about it, the more my love started to grow in photography. At first, I was taking as many pictures of my children and dog as I could, I wanted every memory to be recorded. I then started researching camera setups, lighting, staging of the shot, etc. I noticed that my pictures were getting better.

I started doing photo shoots with family and friends and all were complimenting my work. I started to realize that I had a talent and a passion for photography. We moved to South Carolina for my husband’s work, and I continued there. I have upgraded my equipment and my photo shoots are improving daily. I am currently a full-time mom; I am lucky to be able to be with my children whenever they need me. I also, thru the support of my husband, routinely have photo shoots with many wonderful people. I am very happy with the way I am improving and excitedly looking forward to learning more every day. I am very thankful for the wonderful online tutorials and workshops that I can access any time.

I look back on where I came from and where I am now, and I am very thankful to God and others who were there when I needed them. I am thankful to my husband, kids, and my new family for their love and support. This is a very exciting time to be a photographer and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. The last thing I would like to say is this. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams!!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I, like so many other moms, am constantly trying to find the time to pursue my passion without neglecting my children. I am finding that, as they get older and are becoming more independent, I have more time to do things like edit and learn new techniques. There are many great photographers out there and as camera technology improves, more are starting the trade. I love this because it keeps me on my toes and makes me find new and inventive ways to shoot. I think so far, it has been challenging, but not in a bad way. I love constantly trying to find new styles of shooting.

We’ve been impressed with Chue Provan Photography, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
First and foremost, I absolutely love what I do. This is important because when you are with a photographer who loves the art and not the business, the client’s experience will be so much more rewarding. I never settle on one theme year after year to where my sessions become routine or boring. I treat every client like they are part of my family and want the best picture I can take for them.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
The best advice I can give is to just keep shooting. You don’t need the latest and greatest photo equipment. Many people start on their phones. Go out daily and just take pictures of everything. When you do, think about how to set up the shot, lighting, etc. Find out if you have the passion or just an interest in photography, both are great to have. If anyone is interested in photography as a profession, please do your homework on doing it the correct way. You may be surprised on the places that you are not allowed to shoot professionally around your city and the permits you will need to do so. Get with your local town for all the rules and regulations that you need to follow. The last thing one needs to ignite the passion of photography is a list of fines. There is a great big world out there, go get it on film!


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