Disposable cameras in the backyard with her older sister, Hannah, was how Grace Mackenzie Photography got its initial start. Well, that’s how Grace got her start behind the lens. As she got older and her family moved back and forth from Ireland in her teens, she started to find her footing and two years later when she was a sophomore in high school, her business started to take shape thanks to her sisters.
While her boyfriend at the time wasn’t supportive in the least, at 18 she’s found Joel Cedeno, a guy who knows her worth and drives her forward. So with a support system in place and a camera in hand, thanks to her parents, she has gone from doing senior portraits around town to capturing everything from weddings to newborns.
Kendra: You deal with a lot of various types of photography from weddings to boudoir. Where did you start and do you see yourself branching out even more as time passes by? Is there one over the other that you feel lets your creativity shine brighter than others?
Grace Mackenzie: I love all types of photography, but I have to say my favorite is family and baby sessions. I love the connection and love I see with each image, and I love to see that in photographs. I practice on my three-year-old niece. I also love weddings because it’s that same love and new beginnings. I don’t get along that well with people my age so I noticed when I work with older people and families I am happier with my work and feelings after the session.
Kendra: New England isn’t somewhere I’ve gotten to see just yet, but from movies and TV – it looks as picturesque as can be. Where would you say is the best place to snap a selfie in Massachusetts, and where is the best place to have someone snap the picture for you?
Grace Mackenzie: I’m in western Massachusetts which is about two hours from Boston. I love fall time here. It’s my favorite, but I do love the eastern part because the ocean calls to me. I love taking photos with nature involved. The trees and grass anywhere can make a photo so beautiful.
I use nature and natural light to guide me in my photoshoot process. In a field with a nice golden hour sun is where I like my photos taken best.
Kendra: On top of photography, you also have a design business. What’s that all about and do the two worlds ever come together?
Grace Mackenzie: Yes! I also dabble in abstract art! I love fluid art and being creative with paint. I used to pressure myself to sell my work but now I just go work the flow (literally). I also make jewelry and body scrubs too with all-natural ingredients.
Kendra: You’re also a Body-Posi activist. Have you ever done or thought about doing a photo series depicting various types of beauty?
Grace Mackenzie: I’ve done a lot of body-positive self-portraits where I talk about how important self-love is. I put myself out there which can cause people to be mean but I would rather be myself than be boring. I also have dyed my armpit hair pink for the hell of it! But as for a session all about body positivity, I have a plan for that in 2020.
Kendra: Lastly, what’s going on with you and all that you do come 2020?
Grace Mackenzie: I’m a senior in high school! I’ve gotten bullied a lot in school so I’m very happy I’ve done all my credits and I’m able to graduate in January and go to HCC for photography to learn more business side of things. It’s always important to learn more about your passion!