PHOTOGRAPHY was an outlet for Maria Scard when her children were at school and she had some spare time on her hands.
A decade later, her passion has seen her working with celebrities at a London fashion event, capturing images at orphanages in Eastern Europe and visiting prisons in the third world.
Earlier this year she added another highlight to her list when top UK super model, David Gandy, chose her pictures to accompany his online blog on Vogue’s website.
Maria, of Marine Crescent, Goring-by-Sea, received a personal email from the model, after photographing him at the second London Collection: Men, which took place in June.
She said: “Photography is used to tell stories, sell products or help us remember times in our lives.
“If David Gandy thinks my images are good enough to represent him personally in Vogue, it is with even greater confidence that I continue to work with local families on location, businesses and the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce.”
Maria also managed to snap a host of other celebrities at the event including Tinie Tempah, Dermot O’Leary, Aston Merrigold from JLS, and Great Britain gymnast Louis Smith.
The mother-of-two moved to Worthing when she was 19. She attended Northbrook College where she completed a foundation arts course, followed by a full-time media arts course and a two-year photography course.
Throughout her photography career, Maria has been heavily involved with charity projects including Link to Hope, a Worthing- based charity, which supports poor communities in Eastern Europe.
She said: “I go out to Eastern Europe and photograph the shoebox appeal. I have been out there nine times.
“We go for a week at a time and we are out all day. We have to be able to work really quickly in difficult circumstances to get the right shots. We have to see it ahead of time.
“We have had experiences such as when we went into a dark hovel in Moldova and heard a man shouting and crying out. We asked the translator what he was saying and they told us, ‘he is on his knees praying because he is so lonely’, and there we were at the door with a shoe box for him.
“Through these experiences in Eastern Europe I went on to the slums of Mumbai, and orphanages and prisons in Malawi.”
For the last three years Maria has undertaken commercial work for local businesses, including the Worthing Chamber of Commerce and Worthing High School. She also continues to photograph families and locations, which she says is her bread and butter.
She said: “I love working with people and making them look good, and trying to catch something of their emotion. I like making people feel more confident when they see my work.
“I would like to further explore the fashion world and would love to do a photo shoot for the programme UK’s Next Top Model.”