I use my camera to try to capture the essence of ordinary people, places, and things, to see them with fresh eyes and reveal them in a new way. I am drawn to the smaller towns, rural areas, and byways – the “blue lines” on the old maps – and to quirkiness and eccentricity.

Since 2018 I have returned each spring to Urban Sprout Farms, an organic farm on the southern edge of Atlanta, to photograph the farm and Ayla, daughter of the farm owners. The farm is a former motel whose old buildings and swimming pool decay more each year. Yet there is beauty in decay, and art mixes with graffiti on the cinderblock walls of the motel buildings. It is also fascinating to watch Ayla change with each passing year, and to see the contrast between the delicate young girl (a dance student) and the wild lushness of the farm.



These photos are all from the series of Urban Sprout Farms, beginning with a 5-year-old Ayla offering potato chips to visitors at an open house on the farm in 2018. During these visits Ayla and I wander around the farm. Sometimes we find objects she uses as props – a plant, a bird nest, ripening strawberries. This spring I included Ayla’s mother for the first time, holding her daughter – one of my favorite photos.


The photos taken during the pandemic springs of 2020 and 2021 speak to me of hope and rebirth in the midst of devastation, and of our human responsibility as stewards of nature. The potted plant held by Ayla in her pink tutu, and the bird nest she gazes at intently are both symbols of life and new growth.



Bio: Marla Puziss moved to Atlanta from Maryland in 1989 and is still getting to know the South. She lives in Hapeville with her husband and cat and recently retired from the clinical laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital, where she still works one day a week. She is a self-taught photographer, inspired by looking at great photography since childhood. Her work has appeared online in South x Southeast, Lenscratch, and in various local and statewide juried photography exhibits – including Slow Exposures, Decatur Fine Arts Exhibition, LaGrange Southeast Regional, Arts Clayton Gallery, The Bowen Center for the Arts, South x Southeast Gallery, Atlanta Photography Group, Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, Johns Creek Art Center, and others.


Contact information:



IG:  @mpuziss



Camera used: Canon EOS Rebel T2i,

post-processing with Adobe Photoshop Elements