Local photographer Maria DeForrest has been named Photographer of the Year in Delaware by Delaware Today magazine’s Fashion Awards. Winners were nominated by the public and then chosen by a panel of judges respected in the fashion industry on the East Coast.
Based in Milton, DeForrest is becoming known across the country for her innovative, documentary-style wedding photography and lifestyle family photography.
“I love to approach my weddings and lifestyle sessions from a documentary standpoint. It allows me to capture the unique qualities of my clients and their families in a more natural way,” said DeForrest. DeForrest’s reputation as an outstanding photographer has led many prominent public figures to engage her services for special events. She has photographed Vice President Joe Biden and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell as well as events with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper.
She is also supporting Delaware’s growth of farmers markets and is a founding board member of the Milton Farmers Market. Her photography has been instrumental in showcasing the market’s vendors, connecting consumers to the local markets and thus giving a face to their foods. In addition, she was commissioned by the Delaware Department of Agriculture to photograph farm families across the state to be highlighted in a recent calendar.
Whether catching the early morning light on a farm or documenting a wedding, DeForrest spends time to see beyond the camera and earn the trust of her subjects. Throughout the course of a photo shoot she is known for portraying people at their best, depicting the light within her subjects in a style best described as honest, emotional imagery. “Couples and families that hire me definitely trust in the creative process. I provide a space for them to let their guard down, and we create art together. It’s pure magic, and I truly love what I do,” she said.
DeForrest has been a professional photographer for seven years. She earned her bachelor of fine arts in photography and graduated summa cum laude from the Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University. She recently earned her certificate of professional photography from the Professional Photographers of America. She has also been published on national wedding blogs and in magazines. Her work can be seen on her blog at mariadeforrest.com.