Maria Bernal was born in Vietnam and raised in France. She started photography in 1978 with her first Nikkormat 35mm camera and started developing her own film in the darkroom in 1979. Her parents were huge influences for her, with her mom being a model and her father being an avid, and high level amateur photographer. She grew up with music, art, and fashion so those are still today things that she find fascinating and are still a huge impact on her today. While Maria loves straight photography, she has a fine arts background as has combined her photography with her painting skills which have won her Best Portrait at SWPPA several years in a row with her style of painted portraits.
Maria is a portrait artist. She loves photographing people whether it be for fashion, boudoir, seniors, wedding, children, or family. Her unique, quiet, intimate style has been getting her world-wide recognition. She holds her PPA Craftsman degree and is on the cusp of receiving her PPA masters degree. She is the recipient of multiple Photographer of the Year awards within the PPA system with loan prints. She is the proud recipient of Fuji and Kodak awards as well as multiple Best Portraits, Best Wedding album, and Best in Show. She is also a member of WPPI, where she has achieved international awards and recognition. Known as a lighting expert, she has taught seminars for Nikon, Westcott, Profoto and the MAC group. Maria has been one of Westcott Top Pros since 2009.