Marilyn’s fascination with the visual arts started when she was a little girl and her two older brothers had a darkroom in the basement. She spent many hours there watching as her brothers created “magic” pictures that appeared in what looked like water in trays. Of course, the fascination with the darkroom was enhanced during Halloween when the darkroom became the best “fun house” on the block with the eerie red light.
Photographs always surrounded her family. There were the three-framed 16×20 black and white portraits of her and her brothers hanging over the sofa. Her mother’s friend, Rae, created these in her full portrait home studio. For years, Marilyn thought Rae was part of the family because at every family event she was there with her camera.
Every Saturday was spent at the movies. More visual arts. Her mother took her to New York City to the museums and to Broadway shows on other Saturdays. Her entire life was always documented in photos taken by the most current Kodak Brownie camera. Her brothers were the first on the block to try the new color film. (They said it would never last!). Marilyn’s uncle had the first Polaroid camera anyone had ever seen. There are still memories of pulling the film out of the camera and taking out the chemical sponge that had to coat the print if you wanted to keep the print and not have it fade away
On her sixteenth birthday, the one gift Marilyn wanted most was her own camera. Her parents made her wish come true and since then she has never looked back. The camera went with her everywhere and the family counted on her documenting all the family events. Her friends always knew they would be photographed when Marilyn was around. And so it went, even into college. Everyone could always count on Marilyn to have her camera with her to record all the fun and important events.
Eventually when Marilyn married and had children she unpacked that old enlarger her brothers worked with and set up her own darkroom in her home. Now it was her son that watched in amazement as the prints of him appeared in the trays of chemicals. She scrimped and saved and sold things at the flea market to buy her first top-of-the-line 35mm camera. With the first roll of film she put through it, Marilyn won a national Kodak contest and had her picture published in the newspapers. A natural? Good luck? Or maybe years and years of learning to see and feel what makes a good image a great image.
Never looking back, Marilyn opened her studio first in her home and then moved it twice eventually ending up in a state-of-the-art 2,600 square foot studio. Her clients come from all over the country, South America, Canada and locally from three counties to hire her expertise to create portraits of their families.
Now Marilyn is once again working out of her home so she can concentrate on her new beautiful watercolor portraits and on creating portraits with soul. All her work is now on location at your home, the park, the beach or any other interesting and imaginative location. Her work has taken on a new vitality and warmth that energizes Marilyn’s life and enriches her client’s lives. She has extended her client base to New York City and New Jersey and travels there a few times a year to photograph her private collection clients.
For twenty years, the career of Marilyn Sholin has taken a direct path: straight up. Her professional services range from consulting to the photographic industry to portraits of children, families and corporate executives. What she loves the most is the new WOW colors in her paintings and all the wonderful new creative ways of painting portraits. Marilyns paintings have now been recognized worldwide and you can buy gifts from her City Art Collection.
Continuous sourcing of new innovative portrait techniques is part of what keeps the look of Marilyn’s work “fresh” and intriguing. Whether it’s a new finish, a special presentation theme, or a way to incorporate computerized digital imaging, Marilyn’s focus is always on ways to give clients results they likely can’t get anywhere else.
Her artistic style of portraiture has won professional acclaim over the years. Her award winning photographs have also been published in the PPA Loan book and the PPA magazine. She is honored in the state of Florida with the Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence. Florida has often asked Marilyn to be one of the few judges of almost a thousand prints submitted to professional competition once a year at the Florida convention.
Marilyn is a popular speaker at photographers’ conventions, where she presents programs on many topics from “The Art of Creativity” to how to achieve innovative family and children’s portraits in the studio. Her speaking has taken her coast-to-coast and to the Caribbean. She also conducts workshops with hands on experience for the attendees.
Twice Marilyn has been honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as a finalist for the prestigious “Recognition” awards. She was chosen two consecutive years to photograph “Women of Distinction” – a black and white exhibition for the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America. Her portraits were displayed at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour.
Marilyn works closely with many charities. Two of her”pet” charities are the Miami Childrens Museum which represents everything she envisions for today’s children in the arts. And, Project: New Born which raises funds for the Newborn Intensive Care Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital helping newborns to live a healthier and better life. She is also looking forward to working closer with The Joe Dimaggio Childrens Hospital and with Allen Susser on his Share Our Strength to feed the children campaigns and events.
Somehow with her active life, travel and speaking commitments, she has found time to publish two books. Amherst Press published Studio Portrait Photography of Babies and Children and it is available in all bookstores. Her books have sold out and are in reprints now.
Following in mom’s footsteps, her son, Ryan, graduated from New York University with a degree in Film. He now resides in California with his wife, Veronica, and is working there. Ryan carries on the tradition of visual and creative professionals in the family. He also now works at the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the big news is Ryan and Veronica are expecting our first grandchild in May!
Marilyn, lived in Miami for over 30 years,and in 2007 moved to Asheville,NC with her three cats, Jake, Susie and Drayno (ask and we’ll tell you the story of his name) and Michael, her partner in love, life and work, who always keeps her smiling.
Marilyn’s philosophy is that you must stay on top of the photographic and art industry and be ready to innovate quickly. Keep an open mind and always look to the future. As she says to her seminar audiences, “Set goals and be ‘Fearless’ about what you want to accomplish.”