I am so thankful to Clare from The MPA (Master Photographers Association) for this beautiful thought! Looking forward to see her at MPA awards, on 18th this month.
“I met Marian Sterea and his wife and business associate Daniella in Turkey. He’s Romanian. The delegates at the annual photographic convention in Turkey were from all over the world and the common language was, as usual, English.
It was hard to believe that he never really spoke English until three days earlier. At the beginning of his seminar he learnt quickly that his interpreter could not translate Romanian to Turkish only English to Turkish. Most people would shrink in panic and come to halt – not Marian, he tapped into all the movies he had watched, and the few broken English conversations he has had… and as the seminar unfolded it was amazing to watch how the words he needed somehow found there way to him.
It takes a certain kind of person to adapt so quickly and still remain calm, confident and in control, but this is exactly how it happened, I know, I was there, and he captured my attention within seconds.
You can not help but feel at ease with him. He is a joker, without going too far: he is very serious without putting up barriers: he is very focussed without missing what is going on around him: he is also very in love with life and very particular about how he works.
This confidence in how he works exudes from him, and whilst most people would be afraid to even think about making the demands on his clients that he does, he believes that if a client wants to book him for his work, then it comes at a price, not just a monetary one but a creative one too. That value is greater than the price-tag he has placed on his work. He is the top photographer in Romania and his prices reflect that. He is very much in control of his work, clients, and brand (without being controlling) and he has mastered without a shadow of a doubt how to uphold that vision of his brand whilst radiating love, emotion and a sense of reality and value for both his clients and himself.
He has a great understanding of how the internet must work for him without losing himself and becoming a technical geek. When you are with him he has a natural rock star persona and you can not help but like him. Finding yourself having the greatest fun around him without even thinking, it is at the end of the day when your face aches through so much laughing that you realise this, yet none of it is intentional – it just is, and you can see how he has made it to where it is today. There is no pretence with Marian, he is exactly who he is and makes no excuses for it, and wow! is that empowering.
His is very open about his image-making – his signature shots take time and focus. He wants to perfect these shots, and the wedding day is not the place for him to do this as there isn’t enough time. So he insists on a post-wedding shoot, and it is in the contract. This is not normal practice in Romania. It is something that he has introduced to enable him to create the pieces that have given him the reputation and the price value of number one.
You can see from his website he is a busy man. He is the only photographer in his business. He also, in his spare time (and I say that tongue in cheek), creates small promotional videos and edits them for his website, when you see the creativity and quality of them they blow you away. When you know that he is also making these during his shoots, you can not help but be in awe of his dedication. He eats, sleeps and breaths his business, it is his life and where most would fail to hold down a loving and successful relationship with this much focus on his work, you only need to see him with his wife to see that he is not just a successful businessman.
Enter Daniela, wife, best friend, emotional rock and ‘boss’, editor of his images, who still after eleven years has that look of love and awe about her when she is with her husband, a word she uses with such pride that you can not help but envy her a little.
The relationship between these two is undoubtedly the secret to the businesses success. Daniella edits Marian’s images without altering his vision. She does this because she understands him. She says “I know his favourite colour, his favourite food, his favourite movies, I know what he loves and what he doesn’t love, I understand Marian, and I know what he is seeing,
I am not here to change that vision, like our marriage, I am here to add value to his life, photography is very much a part of his life, who he is and I want to add to that too”.
She genuinely loves to edit images, her absolute passion is to put the finishing touches on her husband’s work, and they have worked out how to make the business fulfil both of their dreams as a couple and as individuals too. You can meet Marian and Daniella at the Master Photography Awards Open Day on October 18th where thanks to sponsorship from Graphistudio they will be explaining their wedding offering and the impact it has had on Romanian professional photography.”
Many thanks to my sponsor Graphi Studio
Text by: Clare Louise
You can reach me at Meet The Masters at The MPA awards