Inspired by questions my daughter posed to me one day, here is a personal, mini-interview with hopes you can get to know me a little bit better:
Where were you born, and what was your childhood like?
I was born in Manhattan on July 4th, 1973 at a Women’s hospital that no longer exists. I was raised by my mom; a single woman, strong, red-headed and feisty who sacrificed a lot to raise me. My aunts, uncle Robert and mi abuelita all had a hand in raising me, too. I was a typical child in the 70-80’s except things were a little different back then; neighbors and strangers alike were good-hearted and always had your best interests in mind…it’s not always like that these days. My mom married when I was 9 years old to an amazing man who quickly became my beloved father!! At age 11 I moved from the city about 2 hours north into the ‘country’ suburbs. My days changed from walking to the corner pizzeria with friends to wading up and down the stream in the backyard…I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything!
Did you always like photography?
It was never my first love only because it was never really introduced to me. I’m sure if there was someone in my early years who was into photography and mentored me I probably would have fallen in love with it…actually I KNOW I would have fallen in love with it!
What did you do before you were a photographer?
I was a jack of all-trades, literally! I had jobs as a general manager, assistant manager, human resource assistant, substitute teacher, waitress, seamstress, theater director, music director, church singer, wedding singer, housekeeper, babysitter, customer service representative, portrait studio photographer, cashier, merchandiser, mentor, voice over artist and even moderated a photography forum (not all jobs had paychecks attached to them). I was also studying opera and training my voice in a more classical realm, and had dreams of pursuing operatic stardom at one point, lol (I laugh because this was one of those pipe dream moments that only a hit of reality wakes you from).
What do you like most about being a photographer, now?
The emotions, hands down!! There are so many precious, unbelievable, real moments that are brought with maternity, newborn and wedding photography. Often I am crying tears of happiness behind my camera with each change of emotion. It’s the most fulfilling to capture a newborn smile, new parents tears of excitement, sweet laughter at an exchange of dialogue between couples, a surprised look when baby sighs or dad goes for a sudden embrace with his love or newborn, the tender cries of a newborn when they aren’t feeling it, mom’s meditative concentration to revel in her baby’s kick from her womb, a seductive nuzzle between a loving couple, a tender yawn from baby, the pure joy of dad or groom looking at his mommy to be or bride to be…so many wonderful moments, this is what I love about being a photographer!!
Your most memorable session is?
They are all memorable and wonderful in their own way: From a mommy so excited to shoot her pregnancy she forgot to (literally) dress for the occasion to a new mom and dad who had their babies born through a surrogate and their excitement and tears never stopped flowing to a couple willing to change their wedding date so that it would guarantee I could be their photographer! So many more and so very incredible!
If it were your last day on Earth what would you want to be best known for as a photographer?
I would want to be best known for capturing real moments in a simple yet beautiful way. I also want to be known as giving great customer service and a personal, exceptional experience to all!
What is your hope for the future of photography and what are your plans to make this happen?
My hope is that people stop thinking that cameras are what will make a good image. The equipment is a tool and an aid, not a solution! There are so many factors that play a part in capturing a beautiful image but the first step is the individual behind the viewfinder/LCD screen! I don’t like to ‘teach’ I like to inform and assist people pursuing photography because the technical of the camera is universal, the vision is unique! And for me, I hope I never stop learning! From lighting to shooting to equipment to viewpoints to angles to color to…There is so much to photography that I fail to believe that we ever learn it all in one lifetime! I am proud to be the forever (eager) student!
And because every blog post is better with a photo here is one of my latest!