100 Women We Love: Class of 2017

Every June, GO compiles a select list of talented tastemakers, influencers and all-around inspirational women who are making their mark on the LGBT community and on the world at large.

Maro Hagopian

Photo by Riley Knippling

“I once had an ex-girlfriend say ‘You’re in a relationship with your photography,’” says Maro Hagopian. That kind of dedication has served the Detroit-born photog well, as she’s created a career for herself in celebrity portraiture and taking shots for the Village Voice over the last 12 years. Hagopian says she was “in awe” the first time she saw a woman—her older cousin who had come to visit her family in Las Vegas—wield a camera; previously, the photographers she’d encountered were predominantly men. That experience inspired her to want to pick up a camera herself. “I convinced my parents that I was serious about photography and they finally bought me an entry-level camera. I was shy and had no friends so I’d just quietly walk around the desert suburbia taking photos of landscapes and rocks.” It didn’t take long before Hagopian realized she preferred shooting living, breathing beings. “I realized how much I enjoy connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves,” she says.“It was important to me to give [my subjects] that [experience] as I really yearned for it myself. I’d needed to connect as a teenager but had so much trouble doing it.” Now, she finds herself in deep connection with her subjects. “For me, photography is about capturing emotional moments in time with a distinct composition filtered through the photographer’s mind’s eye,” Hagopian says. “It’s also about connecting with another person’s energy in that moment to bring out the beauty I see in them.” —TB

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