Join us as we celebrate the work of
Maritza Shaughnessy

MPA: Why do you love photography?

I’m a highly visual person. Photography gives me the means to capture the details that I see throughout the day or on a trip.  However, I don’t just love photography because its visual nature.  I love it because you can make it what you want.  It’s such an accessible art form.   There is no right or wrong way to tell you story.   I frequently take photos that will mean absolutely nothing to someone else, but to me, they have meaning and wonder.  

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

My favorite thing about MPA…hmm, I have several.  If I have to pick one, it’s the friendships I’ve made.   To be honest, I reached out to MPA to improve my skills.  I had been following Toby for nearly a year and when he mentioned his partnership with MPA, I was intrigued and I immediately signed up for the first New Zealand trip.   I don’t know if it was the pull of New Zealand (my happy place) or my desire to improve, but it’s been game on ever since.

Dave, Ally, Steve and Toby are simply the best.  My photography has definitely improved.  However, it’s the friendships that keep me coming back.  I love being able to hang out with people I love who share the same passion that I do for travel and this art form.

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

PEN provides me with so much learning content that is accessible whenever I have the time.  The learning content is high quality and delivered in perfect bite size chunks. Whenever I have a question, I am able to find an answer in no time flat.  I just wish I had more time to  spend in FB chats with others and actually do the  image critiques.  I promise Dave, I will submit one day 🙂

MPA: What was your favorite photography tour?

My favorite tour so far was definitely the 2018 Arctic trip.  I’m a sun, sand and surf kind of gal.  If someone had said, that I would end up loving the Arctic so much, I would have said “they’re crazy.”   The Arctic has such untouched beauty…and again, polar bears!

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

I want to keep improving and learning.  My logical self wants to be super proficient and take great photos every time.  My creative self wants to take crazy images that are mostly junk, but learn through the process; to play with depth of field and light to see what happens.  I am as much drawn to symmetry as I am to wild, raging chaos.  I want to capture it all.   I do feel that I need to understand portraiture.  I rarely take images of people, my cosplaying daughter, not withstanding.  I’m drawn to landscapes but street photography and some portrait work does interest me.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling to next? 

My next McKaytion 🙂 is to Yosemite.   My first McKay trip was the Fall Yosemite 2015 trip, so I am looking forward to being there again.  However, I am really looking forward to the Arctic Trip to Franz Josef Land,  I was on the last Arctic trip and it was amazing.   I can’t remember the last time I had a trip that hit the sweet spot on so many fronts – travel, nature, friendship, photography, wildlife (THE BEARS), flora and…did I mention the polar bears.    August can’t get here soon enough.