Maggie Winters doesn’t graduate from college until May 2013, but her photo business rivals that of seasoned photogs who have been in the industry for decades.
A graduate of Yorktown High School in 2009, she studied at the prestigious art program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond before heading back to DC to complete her education at the Corcoran College of Art & Design.
While still in high school, she launched her photography business, MaggieWinters.com. Today, her images have been featured in publications from The New York Times and Washingtonian, to Baltimore Brides Magazine and the new “Capturing Love” guide.
“I love capturing the happiest moments in life,” says the woman whose signature pink hair is as unmistakable as her unique images that are as fresh and original as she is. “Sometimes kids throw temper tantrums and parents get migraines and everyone works late and it gets to be a lot, but during photo sessions all of life’s annoyances go out the window and we get to focus completely and totally on love.”
Below is our Q&A with Maggie, followed by a gallery of her creative photos. (Cupcake photo, above, from Shannon & Khrista’s wedding.)
Be Inkandescent: How and when did you get into doing photography?
Maggie Winters: I’ve been a photographer for as long as I can remember, but I really started getting into photography as a profession when I was 13 and one of my photos was published in the Washington Post as part of its travel photo contest. I realized that maybe I could photograph for a living and haven’t looked back.
Be Inkandescent: Why do you love photographing offbeat weddings?
Maggie Winters: I’m not a huge fan of the status quo—I think by accepting things “the way they are,” we’re allowing mediocrity in a world capable of greatness. When people do exactly what they want, live their lives how they prefer to and change the world a little bit with every decision they make—those are the people who inspire me and whom I want to photograph.
Be Inkandescent: Do you think photogs need to go to school to perfect their craft?
Maggie Winters: I’m mostly self-taught and am not a huge fan of school in general. If you’re motivated enough, I think you can get anywhere you want in the photography world without a bit of schooling, but there are probably some important lessons in photo school that I totally missed, so I can’t say for sure.
Be Inkandescent: What is the one thing you love most about your business? What is the one thing you hate the most?
Maggie Winters: I love absolutely everything about being my own boss and running my own business. It definitely takes a lot of sacrifice—I don’t remember the last time I went on vacation for more than a day—but doing what I love every day is worth it 100 times over.
Jennifer & Chris came to DC to be married, and we had way too much fun exploring the city after their ceremony. I was the only guest in attendance at their wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful, intimate, and full of love. This image was taken at the Barbara Kruger exhibit in the basement of the Hirshhorn, where their giddiness at having just gotten married is so obvious and beautiful!
Jordan & Devin were married at the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum. This wedding was filled with special touches created by Jordan and her family—except this Balloonicorn, of course!
Lisa & Charlie came all the way from Rhode Island to be married at the Million Puppet March in November 2012. Their ceremony took place in the middle of the puppet rally, and everyone at the rally was very excited that they had chosen it as their location—puppet high-fives all around. Then, we marched to the Capitol building for a puppet show and remarks about the funding of PBS.
Joan & Patrick were married aboard the Black-Eyed Susan in the Baltimore Harbor. After the ceremony, the couple mingled with family for a cocktail hour on the boat, and I captured this moment of happiness and reflection while Patrick talked with his groomsmen.
Shannon & Khrista came to DC to be married at the Botanical Gardens. Since they don’t technically allow weddings there, we weren’t sure what would happen. We picked a spot and, with myself as the only guest in attendance, and watched as they were legally wed.
Jacqueline & Victoria came from Ohio to be married in DC with 11 of their best friends. Before the ceremony, the 14 of us went for an adventure down to the National Mall to take some photos (in March), and on the Dupont Circle escalator there was a huge gust of wind and Jacqueline’s dress blew way up! The image captures the fun, relaxed, love-filled day perfectly.
Jordan & Devin at the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum right at sunset. Just beautiful!
Joan & Patrick and I explored the grounds of the American Visionary Art Museum after their ceremony boat ride, and found this beautiful decorated bus, at which point someone made a joke. Bam—moment captured!
For more of Winters’ photography, visit www.maggiewinters.com.