We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Toney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, what makes you happy? Why?
This question pose a great amount of complexity and cannot be defined by a single answer to what happiness represents for me. After living through this pandemic and experiencing a stay home order I have realized that my relationships with people are one of the things that does bring me happiness. By seeing people’s compassion, watching them grow, and overcome any obstacles they may have also brings me happiness. My reason being is simply that I love seeing things evolve, I love seeing the beauty in the imperfections. In other words, I admire the journey and unpredictable path that humanity takes while observing its growth in the most organic and natural of forms. When you think of all those things, how can a person not be happy? Positive energy, growth, and humility are contagious and should be mutually harmonizing for everyone being on this planet. When one lives up to their full potential it gives me the greatest sense of joy and gratitude.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a lifestyle photographer and basically love capturing people’s journeys in the purest form. I love being able to freeze moments in their lives, moments they can hold on to for years to come. It’s hard to say what sets me apart from other photographers because everyone has their own style and uniqueness about them. I am good however at capturing moments that my clients don’t even realize are happening. The best shots usually happen in the in between moments when my clients don’t even realize I am still shooting. I am not where I want to be yet professionally. I think for me personally it is a constant challenge within myself and my own expectations. I have never run a business before and never had anyone close to me run one either, so there is a-lot of first times in everything I am doing. In life and in business my own obstacle has been myself. I have actually been reading a-lot of self- help and motivational books like “You’re are a bad ass”, by Jen Sincero as well as attending workshops and joining local business groups. I believe anyone can do anything they want as long as they put their mind to it and make it a priority. As for my story I am a third- generation emigrant and moved to America at the age of 20 with a suitcase and no idea where I was going to live. My Brand is all about capturing raw moments in my clients’ lives, moments that when they look back at them it gives them a feeling of nostalgia.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach is the first place I would take them! Maybe grab a coffee from better buzz in Encinitas and walk down to moonlight beach. Take a stroll down to the meditation gardens and then after grab a pizza for lunch from Urbn one of my favorite+ spots. If they were here on a Thursday evening, I would take them to sunset market in Oceanside and grab some local food at one of the stalls taking it to stone brewery where we could enjoy a beer at the same time. One of the days we would get up early and grab the coaster to downtown San Diego. Grab some coffee at James co, a glass of wine, and cheese board at Vin de syrah and then definitely a pit-stop at extraordinary desserts. Balboa Park would be another stop, and whilst there, why not stop by the Zoo.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Aaron, is definitely the one person in my life that has always cheered me on. He sees my full potential even when I may have doubts and always encourages me to keep going.