Mama Bear. Community Builder. Visual Storyteller.
A native of the Philippines, Marvi arrived in NYC with a pre-med degree, $1500 in the bank, and the dream of launching her career as a freelance photojournalist. She quickly discovered that she had the chutzpah to gain access to difficult situations and made a name for herself by filming the sexual proclivities of New Yorkers, and the 2004 anniversary of 9/11—a code orange day—with a plastic camera. Those Holga shots garnered her a double spread in US News and World Report. It wasn’t long before Marvi was shooting for Time, Newsweek, New York magazine, Paris Match, and The New York Times. Getty Images featured her as one of the first two women photographers in Getty Reportage. Marvi soon joined forces with photojournalist Ben Lowy, her life and creative partner. While Ben covered conflict in the Middle East, Marvi chronicled her own journey with depression through photography. This gave birth to 1in20, an online mental health initiative aimed at educating and destigmatizing mental illness through creative storytelling. Marvi also leveraged her empathetic eye to helping the United Way of New York City in its efforts to light the way for low-income New Yorkers to become self-sufficient and thrive.
Marvi and Ben operate a creative partnership, Lowy+Lacar, which produces award-winning photography and filmmaking specializing in authentic documentary-style storytelling. They often take their two sons on the road with them to feed their curiosity. In “Back to the Mara,” they introduce the boys to the country that inspired their professional collaboration over ten years ago. This time around—with support from NatGeo WILD—Kaleb (7) and Mateo (9) led the way. The boys, who are energetic, curious, and talkative, asked about nature, life, and everything in between. The film won 7 Telly awards and debuted at the Sun Valley Film Festival’s NatGeo “WILD to Inspire” event. Marvi has received awards for her stills and motion work from Photo Levallois, Communication Arts, American Photography, Photo District News, Santa Fe Center Project Competition, Telly Awards, and Nat Geo Film Fest.
Shoot Your Truth: One woman’s blueprint for survival
Marvi’s career as a visual storyteller has had its share of lucky breaks. Arriving in NYC with nothing more than $1500 in her pocket, she soon found herself shooting assignments for Time, Newsweek, Paris Match, and The New York Times. She was one of the first two women chosen for global representation by Reportage by Getty during its inception. She was named a Sony Artisan, founded two Instagram communities dedicated to mental well-being and healing generational trauma, and has produced digital shorts for clients like TIME, Fortune, National Geographic, Humana, and Adidas. But, luck doesn’t come without cost. Marvi’s journey through depression and trauma while balancing motherhood and a career is unfortunately not a rare occurrence among professional women who juggle triumph with searing emotional pain. Through her words and intimate imagery, Marvi shares her personal journey through pain to redemption with the goal of strengthening others.
Also presents with Ben Lowy - see more HERE
Photos: courtesy Marvi Lacar
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