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Rising Stars: Meet Madeline Serio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madeline Serio.

Hi Madeline, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi there! My name is Madeline Serio and I am a Maryland-based Wedding Photographer! I have been lucky enough to work professionally in this industry since 2018 and I still can’t believe this is my job. Growing up, I was almost always surrounded by all the different forms of art. All of my family members are artsy or crafty in their own way, so I was almost born into this world because of that. I knew from a very early age that I wanted a job that would combine my love of visual arts with my love of people!

I attended Century High School in Eldersburg, Maryland for all four years of High-school. The school offers a unique opportunity to its students which allows them to choose a career path during Freshman year, and then focus on that path for the rest of the time. Due to that setup, I was lucky enough to focus a majority of my classes on the arts! I was able to dive in and learn about ceramics, painting, drawing, graphic design, and of course photography. I had a wonderful art teacher, Mr. Jeff Sharp, who was with me all four years. I truly would not be in my position today without his help and guidance!

After high school, I ended up going through a pretty traumatic period of my life and I drifted away from my love for the arts. I fell deep into Substance Abuse and got kidnapped and assaulted at the young age of 18. Shortly after, I checked into a Rehabilitation program in an attempt to get my life back on track. Once I left the Rehabilitation program, I decided to move to Anne Arundel County for a fresh start and a new life. I got a job in the sales industry to satisfy my love for people, but something was always missing. I was always the one signing up to do anything that was even remotely related to art. I had given up on art being my career, but I started to try and incorporate it into my life as much as I could. Eventually, I started taking pictures of my friends for fun, and it snowballed into what it is today!

Madeline Serio Photography did not turn into the career it is today in just a few weeks, it was years and years of hard work, sleepless nights, and very sore feet/shoulders. Earlier this year, I was able to leave the corporate job I was for 5 years in order to be a full-time Wedding Photographer!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not even a little bit, but I couldn’t be more grateful for all the bumps I overcame along the way! There have been many times where it has felt like the whole world was against me. When I started taking pictures professionally, I was a terrified 19-year-old who had no idea what went into running a business. I was killing myself working two full-time jobs and figuring out how to make a profit while doing what I love. Having not gone to college, I was very clueless on how to do taxes, charge the appropriate amount of money for my cost of doing business, obtain insurance, etc.

I knew I had a decent enough eye for photography and just hoped the rest would fall into place. I joined hundreds of Facebook groups for photographers, said yes to every single photography opportunity that came my way, and reached out to a ton of photographers who inspired me. All I wanted was to soak up as much knowledge as I could from my peers in hopes of figuring out the puzzle myself. Eventually, I gained the knowledge I needed to feel confident in myself and I became a full-time business owner!

I am definitely not the perfect small business owner, but it is such an amazing feeling being able to successfully work for myself. In the months after I decided to become a legal business, there were countless nights where I stayed up all night editing, crying, or praying for this to all work itself out. Figuring this business out on my own was the scariest thing I have ever done, and there were plenty of times I didn’t think I would come close to “making it”. Right around the time, I started to gain confidence in my abilities, the world was hit with COVID-19.

Thankfully I was still working full time in the sales industry, so I had my other job to fall back on financially. The pandemic flipped such a massive switch in this industry that it felt like I was starting fresh all over again. I was unsure of when or if I would ever be able to photograph another wedding, and I started to consider giving up altogether. Luckily, the DMV photographer world all stuck together as much as we could and pivoted towards what is now the new norm.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Maryland Based but traveling Wedding photographer! I pride myself on capturing my clients as authentic and candidly as possible, and my goal is to never alter who they are at their core. The reason I love my job is the fact that I get to stand side-by-side with the best people while they experience one of the best moments of their life. My job is to capture every single detail of their love story and create the lasting and tangible memory that will be cherished by generations to come.

My approach with photography is a bit different in the sense that I want to be a fly on the wall as well as your biggest hype-girl. I love capturing the unnoticed acts of love that happen as if no one else is watching, as well as making you and your partner laugh so hard you snort. I want my pictures to tell your story as loudly as possible! When it comes to editing, I try to balance a mixture of true-to-life, a touch of the classic filmy vibe, and a kiss of warmth.

I never want my clients to be unable to recognize themselves in their photos, but I want them to look and feel their absolute best! There are tons of beautiful trends when it comes to the way photographers edit their photos, but I want my images to be timeless and never outdated.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
There is no doubt in my mind that this life I live would’ve never been possible without my family, fiancé, and supportive friends.

My family lit the flame for the creative world when I was just a little girl, and I can’t thank them enough for always encouraging my love for the arts. They helped me start my business when I decided this was the path for me, and there are truly not enough words to express the gratitude I have for them.

My wonderful Fiancé, Paul, is the one who encouraged me to dive back into the world of the photographer when I drifted away a few years ago. He has always been my biggest supporter and he pushes me every day to be the best. On the hardest days, where I feel beaten down and hopeless, Paul is the one who tells me that it will all be okay and reminds me to keep pushing. I can’t thank him enough for being by my side throughout everything.

Most of my friends these days are in the wedding world or photography world themselves, which is such a blessing! We are all in this strange but beautiful line of work which means I have endless people to learn from and with. I have never felt alone in this industry and it’s amazing to have friends who understand the joy and struggles of this industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Madeline Serio Photography

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