Marvelous Marvin

About Me

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Graflex - Crown Graphic

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Marvin Bowser

I was born and raised in Washington DC. I have degrees from The American University and The George Washington University. Before starting Marvin Bowser Photography, I completed a successful 34 year career In the Defense Intelligence industry. I inherited my love of photography from my father who was introduced to photography by his Uncle Duke. Daddy gave me Uncle Duke’s Graflex Crown Graphic recently. It was state of the art in 1960 and used by journalists.

The first "real camera I bought was a Canon T-70.  I was stationed in Germany in the mid 1980s and needed a camera to record our antics as we ate, drank and skied across Europe. A lot of those prints are packed in boxes in an upstairs closet. I pull through them every now and then…   I've owned several digital cameras since that film-based Canon T-70.  My father gave me his Nikon D40 and D5000 a few years back. I learned a lot about DSLRs with Daddy's gear.  I’m still shooting with Nikon. Do what you know!

I used to post a lot of images to Facebook. I decided a couple years ago that I was working too hard to "make Facebook fabulous" with my images so I created a business around my love of photography in 2018, Marvin Bowser Photography.

I am primarily a natural light photographer. I love the interplay of light, shadow, color and texture which I put to good use in travel and nature photography. When it comes to people, I love candids. I love to catch people in their truth. This talent serves me well when I’m doing portraits and behind the scenes (BTS) photography, which is also called set photography or production photography. I’ve done BTS photography for both theatre and major film projects.

I created a line of greeting cards that I sold at Washington DC landmark, Lee’s Flower and Card Shop. Owners, Stacie and Kristie, gave me the greeting card idea. I mount my photographs on card stock. Customers travel to the shop to pick them up. I expanded my product offering to custom framed pieces and started to show them around Washington DC. I did a number of pop-up art shows, a very successful Artist’s Talk and Exhibit at the Thurgood Marshall Center and I had just booked my most ambitious show to date, 50 pieces, that was scheduled for April 2020 when the Coronavirus made its regretful debut.

I pivoted to doing shows on Facebook Live which allowed me to maintain contact with customers, friends and family. I made some money but as the pandemic droned on, my audience dropped off. My fiends and family have been amazingly supportive throughout this journey for which I am extremely grateful but I was not growing the business. I decided I needed to make more friends (to expand my market reach is business terms). I will definitely come back to live streaming in the future.

So to “make more friends” I decided to move to one of the biggest retailers on the planet, Amazon. My goal here is to create a successful retail business on Amazon while I separately pursue my fine art, travel, event, nature and behind the scenes photography projects. In other news, I booked a major studio shoot for a national brand in 2021. I was the lead photographer, with an assistant, working in three studios with six models in a day long shoot. I loved the connection I built with the models. My client did similar shoots in other major markets. My client told me the DC shoot was the best and there was no close second.

I’m looking forward to new opportunities and challenges in the future. Stay well!

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