Celebrating the Achievements of Local Women in Design
Women Lead: Celebrate! is an ongoing series of mini-features and highlights to celebrate the many achievements of local Women/Woman-identifying Designers and Creatives in our Cleveland community. Are you a woman/woman-identifying designer or creative that would you like to nominate yourself or someone else to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Featuring: Da’Shaunae Marisa
Photographer + Artist
Current: Full-Time Freelance Photography; frequent contributor to NYTimes, Bloomberg Business, Condé Nast and Time.
Photo intern at local photography studio, Kalman & Pabst
(KP Photo Group)
Areas of Expertise:
Documentary, Editorial, Commercial Photography
Cleveland Connection: Born and raised on the East Side of Cleveland (Maple Heights / Garfield Heights), attended Kent State University and Cuyahoga Community College.
Da’Shaunae is an observer of people. Whether they are the subjects of her photography or other creatives she’s collaborating with, Da’Shaunae values the unique essence of each person and how it shapes the work.
When asked what her hope and aspirations are for her work and career, her response is that every project she works on be a learning experience; the outcome a product of open communication and the sharing ideas with others. She has a running list of ideas that she applies whenever she gets the chance, but doesn’t feel a need to box herself in with one particular style.
It makes sense that Da’Shaunae is drawn to street photography, where everyday life events are captured and made to feel extraordinary. Her commercial photography has the same natural, candid feel. She has a knack for capturing the in-between moments when people have their guard down and are just acting like themselves. She attributes this ability to her time spent watching people and how they operate in their daily lives.
Da’Shaunae draws inspiration from other creatives, such as photographer David Walter Banks, and local women in the Cleveland creative community: stylist, Kelly Schaefer, and painter, Lauren Pierce.
Recent Project Highlight:
Instax Portrait Series
What started off as a public arts project has evolved into a mixed-media series of portraits using Polaroid Instax Minis. Da’Shaunae creates beautifully unique portraits from a series of carefully cut and collaged Instax photos. She occasionally weaves in other materials such as shoelaces and other ephemera. The results harken back to editorial designs from the late 90s where fashion photos were collaged into compelling and dynamic layouts.
Check out her YouTube channel
for a look at her creative process
Past Project Highlight: