Hey there !

I have been away from blogging for about 2 months. Reasons being :

  1. I had a photography special going on for a little over one month.
  2. I just entered a new school, so preparing and settling took a bit of my time, as well.

But like the title of this says, I'm back in the groove and I apologize to those who have been awaiting my next blog because it took so long.

But let's get into things !


What's New ?

  1. I have updated this site : added new photos and updated the blog.
  2. I have a separate Instagram page running for my photography. @marysesmariusphotos
  3. I have been working on improving my portraits.


What's Next ?

  1. More portraiture.
  2. More blogging.


Quick Tip For The Weekend

For Photographers :

Share your work with your friends and get some honest critique.

For Non-Photographers :

Enjoy your weekend and photograph the experiences because Monday will be here soon.


If you read till the end, comment #BackInTheGroove

Till next time and thanks for reading,


Shooting Landscapes Like A Pro !

Capture Stunning Shots Of Landscapes Today !

Greetings ! I hope you all are doing well.

Today, I'm gonna share some tips on taking photos of landscapes. I learned most of these as I took hundreds of photos over the few years.

For example:

  • Camera - Playing around with different shutter speeds, apertures, white balance selections etc, can give you a lot of different results, producing a range of photos to select from in post-production. Also, changing the photo orientation could lead to surprisingly great outcomes.

TIP : Slower shutter speeds could blur your oceans, while faster ones would capture the splashes.

  • Scene - Changing the positions of the subject(s) and/or items in the foreground, background and the frame, could hugely make or break your photograph.

TIP : Use rocks and trees/branches to frame your shots of the ocean, or use them as defocused foreground items, to allow your subject to stand out.

Even MORE Tips:

  1. There's no doubt that shooting through the magic or golden hours of day are perfect for landscapes. I love shooting from about 5pm through 7pm, which is not exactly an hour, but is still great light. Bonus: If shooting very early in the morning, or late at night, using a slow shutter speed (a few minutes) is a great technique. It allows the sun or stars to beautifully paint/light up your shot. Patience is key here !
  2. Capturing movement creates drama and mood in the photograph; whether it be trees swaying or water flowing over the waterfall.
  3. Horizons are great, no kidding, but different angles are cool too ! Think layers : hills, rocks.

I have always loved shooting landscapes, mostly because you can make so many different, but subtle adjustments to get that perfect shot. Also, this is very calming, especially when water is involved (waterfall, beach, rivers, lakes). I mostly use my kit lens : EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM to shoot landscapes.

Please try a few (or all) or these out and leave feedback in the comments or share/tag me in a photo you took using these. You can also contact me very easily on my Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram ! I'd LOVE to hear from you.
Twitter/IG : @MaryseSMarius

Thanks for reading.


BONUS BLOG : Performing Again

Jazz at Jambe De Bois

Good morning/afternoon/evening ! Welcome to my first Bonus Blog, which will not necessarily focus on photography, but maybe music, writing, or something else.

For those of you who know me : family, friends, fans, you most likely know that I am a musician. I sing and play the guitar. I sometimes play other instruments, but to find out more, read my bio here.

Photo by : Yannick James Photography

Photo by : Yannick James Photography

Last night (Sunday), I joined a legendary band, Annexus, and my cousin, Harvey Millar at Jambe De Bois at Pigeon Island here in St Lucia, to play a few jazz standards at the ending of their set : Mercy, Mercy Mercy and Chameleon.

There is a one minute clip on my Instagram (@marysesam) of last night, which you can view here. Please feel free to leave a comment and I will definitely get back to you !


After the set, with Harvey !  Photo by Merth Weekes.

After the set, with Harvey !

Photo by Merth Weekes.

Once again, thanks for keeping up with me through my blogs ! If you missed my last one on Photographing Your Pets, click here !

Don't forget to go see Annexus live on Sundays at 7pm ! We may meet there.

Have a great day !


Photographing Your Pets (WITH A BONUS BLOG!!)

How To Snap Shots of Animals

Hello ! Bonjour ! Hola !

Today, we will discuss taking photos of animals. I love photographing animals, especially my dogs. I find myself using my phone more often to take the photos, than my camera. That's for several reasons : It is smaller and more discreet, and in most cases, it is more readily available.

Meet Bolt, my dog.

Meet Bolt, my dog.

For my DSLR users : I took this shot with a Canon 60D and EF 100mm f/2 USM (not the macro version) lens. My aperture was f/2.8, my shutter speed was 1/400 sec and the ISO was set at 200 (I always try to keep my ISO at 200).


Quick Learning


Aperture is the setting which controls the size of the opening of the aperture blades through which light passes through the lens.

The smaller the opening, less light is let through, and therefore, the larger the opening, more light can pass through.

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed, simply put, is the amount of time that the camera lets the light coming in, stay exposed and become recorded.

This is measured in fractions.

For example : 1/60, 1/125. This number relates to the timing that the shutter is left open, for example 1/60 shutter speed will mean the shutter stays open for 1 sixtieth of a second, then closes.


In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.

The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera(the image sensor) is to light and the finer the grain. The higher the number, the higher the sensitivity of the image sensor and the grain is therefore more visible.


My best tips for taking photos of pets are:

  1. Use natural light and try to avoid using flash. The flash may frighten them, which in turn, could ruin your photo, or the whole photo shoot.
  2. Be patient and also be prepared to follow them. Pets do listen to their owner, but sometimes, it's best to let them be and snap away. In order to do so, you must have a lot of patience and energy to follow them and be flexible, literally.
  3. Switch off the shutter noise. This could distract them and like the flash, may frighten them.

On my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5), my settings are as follows:

  • Photo size : 16M
  • Auto Night Detection : Off
  • Face Detection : On
  • ISO : Auto
  • Metering Modes : Center-weighted
  • White Balance : Auto
  • Grid Lines : On (if this is off, do yourself a favor and switch it on RIGHT NOW)


Find my bonus blog on performing at Jambe De Bois here !

Have a great week !



The Secret Ingredients To Taking Your Best Photos

How I Take My Best Photos

Greetings to all !

Every photographer's formula will be different for taking pictures. These are some of the steps that have TREMENDOUSLY improved my photography and could help with yours too!

My best photos required me to get out of my comfort zone. A friend once shared a quote with me: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Getting out of my comfort zone is a crucial part to taking great photographs.


Pigeon Island National Landmark, St Lucia.

Pigeon Island National Landmark, St Lucia.

For example : This photo was snapped while I was standing on the edge of the door frame of a car.

Getting out of my comfort zone may mean that I have to kneel down, stretch over something or someone or even lie down on the ground to take a picture. I do recommend having a camera with a swivel screen. It makes the job much easier!

Getting out of my comfort zone may also mean that I have to speak with strangers, or ask for their permission to take photos of them etc.

My best photos were often selected from a batch of very similar photos. In other words, take many versions of the photo you wish to capture. People say less is more, but in this case, more is more.

All of my photos are shot in Manual Mode and in RAW on my DSLR. This allows for 'complete' control of the elements in my photo: in camera and in post-production. (SECRET : I have never used Auto on my camera!)

In addition to these few tips, my first blog post also shares some great tips that could apply to taking great photos with a DSLR as well !

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great day !



Welcome To My New Site & My First Blog Post !


Hello ! If you're reading this, I thank you for taking the time to do so and visiting my site. It means a whole lot to me.

I started this site to share some of my better work and those photos which I really, really like. So far, the reviews of my site, from family and friends have been great. I do want to address one thing that I answered in short in my FAQ.

Taking Good Photos Without Owning A DSLR Camera.

People always ask me if they can be a good photographer without actually owning a "professional camera". The answer is yes. There are many (i)Phone photographers, especially on Instagram (which is a great platform to share your work and see the work of others). Such as Sion Fullana, who has a following of over 70K.

A few tips for starting to take photos with your phone:

  1. Just start.
  2. Use your gridlines and read about the Rule of Thirds.
  3. Keep your phone steady to prevent photo blur.
  4. Experiment with different angles and even turning your phone sideways to capture just a bit more.
  5. Don't be afraid to get close to your subject.
  6. Use higher resolutions.

Here is a link to some Shots From My Phone !

Thanks again, for taking the time to read this. Have a great day !