We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariel McHugh and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mariel, life can be so busy as an adult, and for many, especially those who’ve moved to a new city, making friends can be hard. We’d love to hear your thoughts?
The move to Houston is one that really touches me. I lived my whole life in Puerto Rico and that is all I knew until 2013. That is when my husband, who is from the mainland, and I decided to adjust our lives and start again in a new place even though we don’t have any family or friends living in Houston.So, starting from zero again at first was hard for me because I had to start my career all over again. All of my business contacts, clients, and personal friends would be brand new in a new place. But everything changed when I realized how to get out of my comfort zone and build a new life while either finding new work or just stay at home to spend more time with my son. So I joined a local gym, and started to participate in my son’s school, enrolling him in extracurricular activities that I could attend, basically anything that took me out of the house and gave me a chance to meet new people. Fortunately in the end, I found wonderful friends that are now my family outside of Puerto Rico.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since my first photography class in college it became clear that I have a huge passion and obsession for photography. I started my career as a photojournalist in the main major newspaper in Puerto Rico called “El Nuevo Día”. At the paper I covered hard news, fashion, celebrity portraits, lifestyle, sports and more. This is when I clearly understood that photography was my main language and how could I communicate. After the move to Houston, I continued with photography for a couple of clients and my business seemed to excel and people’s interest kept growing from there. I don’t see photography as a job, the fact is when I’m taking photos looking through the lens- it’s just me, the camera and the subject and nothing else.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would have to say that two of my many favorite spots in the city are Woodlands Market Street and Hermann Park.

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?
When I was doing my internship at the newspaper I had the best teachers and mentors that I could have ever asked for. As a rookie I worked with the top photojournalist of Puerto Rico. It would be very hard for me to single out any one person since they all had a hand in my development, helping to inspire me and allow me the freedom to be creative. So, I would like to thank all of my old coworkers, and they know who they are.

Website: www.marielmchugh.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/marielmchugh
Facebook: Mariel McHugh Portrait Photographer

Nominate someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.