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A journey behind the lens

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

As the daughter of a professional photographer, Maria Thibodeau spent much of her childhood in front of the camera.
“I thought having hundreds of pictures of any occasion was the norm, Thibodeau said, “I remember my mother calling on me to help her test new equipment or ideas — of course, this was in the film days, and she’d have to write down her camera settings after each shot.”
Today, she is the photographer. While that’s not her day job — she graces the halls as a teacher at Los Alamos High School — it’s as passion on the side with her.
The switch from being in front of to behind the camera is always a revelation when one realizes that they prefer to be behind the lens. The benefit was that through her experience as her mother’s test model she gained a certain awareness.
Thibodeau has a knack for what her photography subjects are feeling and how to put them at ease with her kindness, demeanor and sense of humor.
Born and raised in Martha’s Vineyard, schooled at the University of Kent at Canterbury, Thibodeau wanted a change that was far removed from her hometown. She spent time in Los Angeles before arriving in Los Alamos and has been here for three years.


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