meet your new hype woman

Hi! I'm so happy you're here! I'm a wedding and elopement photographer, based in good 'ole Elkhart Indiana. 

I’m an unconventional photographer because my start is anything but conventional. I didn’t go to school for photography, I didn’t come out of the womb with a piercing love for photography. However, I’ve been slowly finding myself along the way!

I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Tourism Management. After graduating college in 2017, I worked as a social media and marketing director for three years. In 2019, I decided I wanted to take better photos for my content and bought a kit lens - nothing fancy. I played around with it and decided to do a Grease themed shoot at the Elkhart 4-H Fair. It went viral on Facebook with over 12k shares and I had so many people asking why I wasn’t doing this part time. A week later, I invested in a better camera and did just that. 

While still finding my footing, my grandpa unexpectedly passed away. When gathering photos for his funeral, I realized I didn’t have many photos together and our most recent was about 10 years prior. This made me want to pursue photography wholeheartedly and made me realize I wanted to capture moments that people could hold onto and look back at. 

In 2020 amongst the pandemic, I went full time. I was working at my family owned business at the time and running the place. It was difficult leaving a place where I was comfortable and knew I would be set for life, but I wanted to find success on my own. I read a quote that said "like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would." A few days later, I got that wildflower tattooed on me as a reminder, and put in my two weeks.

Obnoxiously Happy & Unapologetically Unconventional.

When I’m not taking photos and hyping you up, I’m spending time with the love of my life and best friend, Garrett. We met on Tinder, he met my parents after three days and we said we loved each other after less than a week (I swear nothing I do is conventional.. but when you know, you know) We've been together since May 2017 and bought our first home in September 2021. We are finally ENGAGED as of August 2022. We also have two fur babies, a mini labradoodle named Mia and a beagle collie mix named Maverick (yes, we named him after Top Gun). We’re the most fun couple so we should absolutely double date after I shoot your wedding!

fun facts

I was adopted when I was born.

I hate coffee.

I’m obsessed with collecting candles & have one in each room of my home.

The Office & New Girl are my favorite tv shows.

I have 9 tattoos and am always itching for more.

I’m engaged to the love of my life.
We’ve been together since May 2017 and just bought our first home in September 2021.

I am a Christian and love the Lord. He has truly saved me more times than I can count.

I’m a huge empath. I have this sensory ability to feel emotions of other people as if it were happening directly to me. It can be draining but I’m thankful to be able to resonate with people on this level.

A coordinated closet and a clean house brings me peace.

I’m addicted to Amazon. If you think you are I promise you, I’m embarrassingly worse.

You’ll never find me without socks on (unless I’m at the beach) and I sleep with my socks on every night. I can’t stand my bare feet touching the ground!

“Marissa was absolutely amazing!! The one thing I was told to get was a good photographer because the pictures are what's going to last a lifetime. I was truly blessed when I came across her work! Her portfolio matched my theme completely. Not only was her work amazing but she is also the most kind hearted person I've met. She made my wedding so much less stressful! She even helped me put together my wedding day timeline and helped me coordinate with other vendors. We were even surprised with client gifts after the wedding! I knew I picked a good photographer when my husband and bridal party kept raving about her! She was so easy to work with, super amicable, fast paced and organized. She’s a keeper, 10000% recommend!” 

— Itxel B.

"I initially found Marissa through a wedding giveaway on Instagram and even though I didn’t win, I ended up booking Marissa as my wedding photographer and flew her to California for my wedding because 1) I was instantly drawn to her warm, friendly personality and similar sense of humor and 2) have you SEEN her work??...Marissa’s ability to capture emotion in every single photo is incredible. Her edits are so unique and moody and they tell the story of every photo she captures. If she lived in my area, I would honestly hire her to photograph every single major event I have for the rest of my life. If you’re looking for your perfect wedding photographer, look no further. You’re in the right place.”

— Irene Y.

What past clients have to say

Follow along @marissaraephotography