Marie Laforge’s photographs of rippling water appear to float off the wall. They are unframed and huge, enabling viewers to experience the sea in motion as it reflects light. Most of her Florida shots of the sea and sea life are taken at Stump Pass Beach State Park, a place she visits almost daily since relocating from California to Florida in 1999.
“What surprised me most about Florida was its flat landscape, but I soon realized that the magic of the area was revealed in the way the light, the ocean, the sky and the clouds changed constantly,” she explains. Laforge, who was born and raised in France where she studied graphic arts and advertising, travels frequently and discovers beauty everywhere, often in unexpected places. Before the digital era Laforge worked with film cameras, taking mostly black and white photos that she processed in her own processing studio, her bathroom! While at school she worked as a wedding photographer. Over the years as technology improved she bought herself a small camera that could be carried in her purse, and she now takes photos with either a light-weight camera or an iPhone.
“The iPhone has become the tool I always wanted in a camera, light weight and always available. It’s been an excellent tool for street photography as people are more easily persuaded to have their picture taken by a small phone and not a bulky camera,” she added.
Most of Laforge’s unframed prints are 20”x20” in size, but she expects to have 30”x30” prints available soon as the larger size allows several images to be placed together in different formations. All are printed on high gloss aluminum/metal that is very light and easy to install, and all are weatherproof, waterproof, and scratch resistant. Photos can easily be displayed on lanai walls or indoor rooms. Laforge, a co-owner of Mango Bistro in Englewood as well as a photographer, is currently working on a line of printed scarves and beach sarongs using a fabric that feels like silk but is easily laundered.
During the month of February Marie Laforge’s Florida prints are being exhibited for sale in the offices of The Mason Financial Group, 447 W. Dearborn St., Englewood.
“After this exhibit I plan to organize pop up exhibits that will include the work of other artists. To enhance the experience local musicians will also be invited to perform while the exhibit is taking place. I’m always full of crazy ideas! Like my tag line ‘Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’ I like to take photographs of everyday things that will force me to look around, observe, and be more aware of my surroundings,” she explained.
Photos of urban areas, people and nature may be viewed on her website: www.marielaforge.com. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to Captains for Clean Water, an organization that works to keep Florida waterways clean and safe.