By Autumn Malhotra

“As corny as it sounds, I want to capture moments.” 

While still a student at the University of Baltimore, Marissa Morris is the owner and founder of Missallaneous Media, a Baltimore-based photography (nature, people, event, etc.) and graphic design company with a focus on nature, people and events. She combined her nickname “Missa” with miscellaneous to represent her array of work compiled.

Relatively new to the photography scene, she has made a splash amongst artists in Baltimore. Morris was commissioned to photograph the current Baltimore Youth Poet Laureate for the cover of her upcoming book of poetry. Morris has also been commissioned to provide headshots for young actors and has been interviewed about her various projects by CAQ. Though the business endeavor began and came to fruition during the summer of 2016, photography had long been on her mind.

“It all really began in freshman year at Poly.”

Polytechnic High, one of the top three public high schools in Baltimore, was where Morris spent four years with a growing passion for photography and design.

“I had this phone that flipped on its side and I thought it was so cool … It had a really nice camera on it — for the time, at least — and my friends always inspired me to take pictures. When I looked back on it all, I realized those pictures told a story, and that is when my love for photography grew.”

After graduation, Morris attended the University of Baltimore on a full scholarship majoring in digital communications with a specialization in media design. The courses, along with her relationships with the people around her, helped build a strong foundation upon which she is creating her company.

“Going to UB has really helped a lot since it is so close to MICA,” she said. The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), true to its name, is a leading college for art and design in downtown Baltimore “Although the art scene is pretty much underground, there are still so many people around willing to help and collaborate.”

Morris mentioned the importance of art and the community as we talked about Baltimore’s representation, especially after the rallies and protests following the murder of Freddie Gray. She attended the rallies, acknowledging that it was definitely a hard time for Baltimoreans.

Although the city isn’t perfect, artists and activists still collaborate to lobby for the improvement of their communities, helping to create the backbone of Baltimore’s culture. As a juxtaposition to the negativity, Morris wanted to use her artwork to capture a brighter resilient side of Baltimore, representing the positive that the city had to offer.

What would you say is one of the most important things to do in your business?

“Besides being creative, obviously, one of the most important things to do in this business is to network. Get to know your professors and the people around you because you will see them again and you never know what could happen from those relationships. I have had so many opportunities because of that … also be open.”

If you could do what you wanted without worrying about making a living, what would you do?

“I have always wanted to travel. If I could, I would travel the world and take it all down with my camera.”

Along with her studies, Morris balances a number of ongoing projects, including private bookings where her work ranges from taking acting headshots to personal photoshoots for private records. She is also working on the continuation of “The Color Series,” which is a series of monochromatic stories and a new project that will be exploring fashion of different decades.

Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of Marissa Morris.

Autumn Malhotra is a sophomore government and politics major and can be reached at amalhotr@umd.edu.

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