I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN LIVING AN INSPIRED LIFE
As a child, I observed my single mother going to work everyday to a job that was challenging and stressful just to put food on our table. I remember thinking that life had to be about more than just paying the bills working an unfulfilling job.
I decided early on that my life would be different, but I wasn’t quite sure how exactly that would look.
In high school, I spent most of my time in the art room in an effort to avert the typical teenage social drama circles and instead would dreamily introspect about all of the travels I would partake in, and all the art I would create.
My mind was always visualizing, creating compositions, and watching light and shadow patterns dance on the walls. It was in my junior year that I discovered photography and found my muse.
I was named “class artist” my senior year.
Countless hours in the darkroom perfecting my dodging and burning skills and learning fixer formulas to give me those amazing warm tones led me to want to study photography in college. Alas, my mother could not afford to send me. If I wanted to go to an amazing college, I would have to earn a scholarship of some kind. I quickly enrolled in my local community college where I was a Fine Arts Major, and lived off of a Pell grant. I spent all of my time making art out of found objects, worked full-time, and bought my first SLR camera, a Canon Rebel.
This is when I began to take photography very seriously and decided that it was imperative that I learn the skills necessary to start my own photography business.
I interned as a photojournalist for The Stage Newspaper in Norwich, CT that year, and started my journey photographing bands, both local and nationally recognized. My side love for music had finally found an outlet! I met so many amazing musicians, and discovered I had a real knack for connecting and creating candid portraits.
I started photographing my friends, family, and bands, and later that year decided that I would move to Sarasota, FL to study photography and digital imaging at Ringling College of Art and Design. I spent 3 years in the darkroom growing as an artist and finding my voice as an activist and fine art photographer.
My senior thesis work, “Consuming Nature”, was featured in American Photo College Edition Magazine.
I was well on my way to becoming an established photographer. After graduation, I was recruited right out of my school’s portfolio night to work for Aperture Images as a creative stock photography consultant. It was there that I found my love for the business of photography. I helped them to keyword, organize and launch a high-end stock photography library with some of the most well-known photographers around. I was in HEAVEN with this job! I thought I had finally found my calling.
But something deeper within me was asking to be heard.
That summer, I met a group of hip-hop musicians in Orlando, FL whose message was to inspire radical change, self care, and self sufficiency. I soon realized that working for someone else’s dreams was not what I needed to be doing anymore!
That year, I underwent many transformations. I traveled, spending hours writing and journaling, trying to “find myself”. I also unexpectedly became a mother.
Motherhood, and all that I thought it was supposed to be came crashing down on my best laid plans. I was unprepared, abandoned by my son’s father, and left to figure out how to raise a child on my own. I put my dreams down, and started working at the local health food store just to pay my bills, and keep a roof over our heads. I surrendered to the same life that my mother lived. I worked an unfulfilling job and just barely got by.
Many personal changes, growth, setbacks, and two more children later, I found myself replaying my old stories over and over and over again. Something needed to change. I started saying goodbye to the unhealthy relationships I was harboring, and set out on a path to rediscover myself. It was a dangerous leap into the abyss of insecurity, scarcity, and not knowing where my next paycheck would come from, but it had to be done. I was dying inside, and my creative visionary dreams were screaming at me to be reborn!
In summer of 2016, frustrated and broke, I enrolled in a business program at my local credit union. I needed to learn how to save up enough money to afford to purchase a camera. My outdated cameras were just not cutting it, and I knew that creating a photography business could be a path to a fulfilling life where I wouldn’t have to struggle, and I could keep the artist in me happy. In 2017, I completed the program, saved up the funds, and purchased my Canon 5D Mark IV and a few lenses.
MY DREAM OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER HAD FINALLY COME TRUE!!!
And voila! After a 12-year detour, here I am, today, rocking out my dream job, FINALLY!
I see so many other people out there striving to pursue their deepest passions and create a life for them that is fulfilling and inspiring.
This is the driving force of my photography work. Through my lens, I want to show you all how amazing you are!!!!
Be it your family, your products, or your business, I have found a deep calling to utilize my photography skills to showcase the authentic beauty, talent and skills of my community members!