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Conversations with Jeannie Liautaud Maul

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannie Liautaud Maul.

Jeannie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I picked up photography as a hobby back in my early high school years. I was so proud to walk into the local camera shop in my Northwest suburb of Chicago and pay for my first DSLR in cash gathered from babysitting jobs and birthdays. Fast forward to my junior year of high school, when the early stages of my business were formed. I pursued a BA in Photography from Webster University and have been working as a full-time freelance photographer ever since my graduation. Support from family and friends has carried me through from the very beginning.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’ll be honest – this path is not for the faint of heart. The commercial photo world is a place where women aren’t always welcomed. This fuels my fire and pushes me to try new things — learn as much as possible, and invite other women to grow with me. I’m lucky to have so much support from my husband and my inner circle, but this is ultimately a one-woman-show. That’s been my largest challenge – finding an equilibrium between the momentum of my growing business and family life. It makes you tough.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in commercial portraiture and lifestyle photography, though I have been enjoying growing the architectural and wedding branches of my business as well. I also own a private headshot studio in the Dutchtown neighborhood. If I had to define it, I’m known for having vibrant, authentic images that are clean and client-focused. I am detail-oriented, and I won’t be shy if something looks off or isn’t working. I am fortunate enough to supplement my own shoots with assisting and serving as a digital tech on large commercial shoots for over five years. Working with so many different creatives has given me a unique perspective and knowledge base to pull from.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My education at Webster in the photo program gave me so many connection points to working photographers in the area. Bill Barrett, Susan Stang, Jennifer Silverberg, Karen Burch and Clark Kincaid are a few professors that left a large impact on me. Local photographers such as Judd Demaline, Amy Schromm, and Izaiah Johnson always inspire me and push for growth. The STL photo community is very tight-knit – we have to be in such a small market.

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