I’ve always been that guest who shows up for a dinner party and spends an hour wandering the hallways, getting lost in all of the family pictures on the walls. The ability of a photograph to transcend time and space–connecting us to people, places, and moments past–is nothing less than pure magic to me. Great pictures tell a story a thousand pages deep and are as personal and distinct as the road that led me to where I am today.
Although born with an innate love of visual imagery, my real journey to professional photography began twenty years ago in a corporate advertising office, before I even had a clue that I would be looking through the lens of a camera for a living. Growing up with a business-minded father and an artistically-devoted mother, I decided to hedge my bet and study business at Skidmore College. I was confident that I had chosen a profession that would prove to be the perfect middle ground of creativity and security. That was until, after five years of watching my boss say good morning and good night to her children every day over the phone, I had my combination maternal/creative epiphany.
Firmly resigned that my new career direction from that point would not only grant me freedom to pursue my passion but also a family life, I headed back to school to learn how to turn my love of capturing images into a business. Fifteen years later, I wake up every day to my three kids rocketing out of bed and a photography studio that never lets me rest–in other words, a darn-near-perfect life.
One of the most satisfying elements of my chosen path is that this demanding and often tricky balance of family and career (which would render me all but unhirable in the corporate world) is at the center of my success as a photographer. Catching families and couples in their most natural, vulnerable, and intimate of moments requires a comfort level and trust between us that can only be achieved through an unspoken level of understanding. When kids are heading towards meltdown and parents’ nerves are beginning to fray, I’m at my best–steering everyone back into the moment the way only a mother and a wife can.
But, at the end of the day, what truly drives my photography and my heart is the power of reality. As area coordinator of the organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, I’m equally compelled to provide the parents of a terminally ill child a lasting image of their son or daughter as I am the fortunate parents of a healthy child. My camera can see and appreciate the beauty in every situation and I, as an extension, am able to as well. Life is an incredible experience and I refuse to flinch or look away from any aspect.
A photographer can be many things to many people but, for my clients, I strive to be like an old friend. One who comes around every so often, bringing the excitement of memories past and those yet to be made and reminding everyone in the process that it’s better to take your passions seriously than to be a serious person.