I remember my passion for photography started when I was 5 years old upon receiving my first "real" camera from my uncle. I ran around the house with my pink Kodak Mickey-Matic taking pictures of my family -- quickly learning to not use up my external flash card too quickly. By the time I was 16 and had earned my first real paycheck, it was no surprise that the entire check went to purchasing another camera.
While earning my degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design, I went on a trip to Bethlehem Steel that changed the trajectory of my life. I was working on a design project for the in-progress 'Beth Works' plan which included taking on-site pictures. After sharing the pictures with my mom, one picture, in particular, jumped out at her as more than just a snapshot. Not only did I love to take pictures, but I also was good at it.
A few months later, I had gotten my first DSLR camera and was ecstatic to go places and teach myself how to use all the manual settings on the camera. Over the next couple of years, I was fortunate enough to build my skills through photographing landscapes and architecture in places like Ireland, Hawaii, Chicago, Louisville, Nashville, Savannah, and New York. I was learning to grow my business by relying on friends and family to hone my skills while working with people during maternity shoots, baby showers, and backyard weddings. However, I knew I still had plenty to learn when it came to working with clients and more intricate equipment.
I found 2 wonderful photographers to assist, who not only were talented but aided in accelerating my knowledge of photography. I started working with Tina DeAngelis at her studio Visual Xpressions. Tina taught me many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of running one's own photography business. By Tina putting her faith in me I was able to develop my skill set working with young children in my first professional setting photographing preschool portraits.
During this time I was also blessed enough to work with Mark Weiss. For over 30 years Mark has been photographing a wide range of celebrities and musicians, such as Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Skid Row. Working with Mark awarded me incredible opportunities that included assisting him during a Phil Collins concert at the Roseland Ballroom, as well as assisting him while shooting the new members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their 2010 tour book. During my apprenticeship with Mark, I learned many of the finer points of working with clients from behind the camera to develop my own creative style while delivering a personalized experience for all my clients.
Incorporating the skills and knowledge I acquired from working with Tina and Mark, coupled with the skills I cultivated from my own natural talent, I have created my unique style. Every job I get -- small or large -- brings me excitement at the opportunity to express my art and the way I see things. More importantly, what genuinely brings me joy are the smiles on people's faces when I capture all their special moments, and help them see how truly beautiful they are.