APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Mara Holdenried

APC Featured Photographer of the Month – Mara Holdenried

With the start of the new APC season in full swing, we are excited for the return of our Featured Photographer of the Month.

Looking for some photographic inspiration? Well, look no further than the current members of the Ajax Photography Club. Each month a different APC member will be featured and we will provide a glimpse into their photographic life.

This month, the featured photographer is APC member, Mara Holdenried.


Memories of my father always include a camera and photographs. He photographed/documented our family’s life in Latvia, Germany and Canada. I remember him being a member of a camera club in Niagara Falls. His joy in sharing photos and his passion for learning has made a powerful impression on my life. I have inherited that bug for documenting life…. my family’s and my organization, NYAD.

I studied commercial art at OCA (OCAD now) and photography classes were part of the courses. I remember wandering the streets of Toronto… photographing scenes and people, developing film and printing b&w photos. On graduation in 1969, my first job was at a photographer’s studio. A number of years later I achieved a diploma in Early Childhood Education and am still working at NYAD (Not Your Average Daycare) at this time. Since 1979, I have use my photographic abilities to document the children, the teachers and activities taking place in our child care centres. For family and friends I have created photographic books and DVDs of travels and happy times throughout the years.

Joining the Ajax Photography Club has given me the opportunity to learn, to share, and given me the incentive to get out and take photographs of the subjects I love and challenge me… birds and animals.


  • How would you describe your photographic style?
    Through my photography style, I try to tell a story. This is always not through just one photo but through a series of photos, a few or more.
  • Which photographer is your biggest inspiration?
    I loved the portraits of Karsh, the landscapes of Ansel Adams and of course the works of Annie Leibovitz. My library is filled with many photographic books of horses and African animals taken by so many fantastic photographers.
  • How long have you been interested in photography?
    Photography followed naturally on my love for drawing and writing in my younger years. Now, while still working, the camera and nature are my passion and challenge.
  • What was your first camera?
    My first camera, which I still have, is a little Baby Brownie Special. At OCA I had a Mamiya film camera.
  • What is your dream photo trip?
    I have travelled through many parts of beautiful Canada, a little of USA and Europe but my dream trip would be to get back to Africa. I was in Kenya & Tanzania in 2006 and South Africa in 2011. Since childhood Africa has always called to me. I am not sure where I would go now. Several countries call to me and the big cats.

You can view more of Mara’s work on our Meetup site.

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