My interest in photography began with my first high school photography class. I signed up for the class thinking it would be fun to roam the halls and school grounds and goof off with my buddies under the guise of photography. It didn’t take long for me to become fascinated with capturing images and then processing them in the dark room. It was years before digital photography and Photoshop, but we took advantage of dark room tricks, multiple exposures and other creative techniques to achieve some of the same results that can now be achieved easily with digital images and photo editing software.
I purchased my first SLR camera in 1992 when I decided to take a hiatus from my studies, join a rock band and embark on a cross-country journey to experience life and share our music. Our home base was in Greenville, NC (the home of ECU and the fighting Pirates!) and we traveled up and down the east coast, from Florida to Maine and out to Colorado and Wyoming. I brought my 35 mm camera and my photography books to continue my independent study of photography and capture images of the scenery along the way.
I will never forget my first experience with wildlife photography. We were in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and I went for a walk, strapped with my film SLR. Before I got out of the complex were were housed in, I came across a large female moose who was no more than twenty yards away. Being my first encounter with an animal of that size, my heart raced and the adrenaline started to pump. I managed to capture some great images, one of which I still have framed on my mantle to this day.
I continued to take photography courses and keep photography as a hobby, but after graduating from college I pursued other dreams and goals. I opened a restaurant in downtown Raleigh, NC and managed it for years before I realized it was the creative components that I truly enjoyed…creating recipes, menus, themes and decors. I was bogged down by the day-to-day grind of the food service business and knew I wanted to go in a different direction.
After the birth of my daughter (who is now four years old and still my favorite subject), I was reacquainted with my love of photography. I began studying the digital world of photography and the amazing technological advances in Photoshop. I read everything I could get my hands on from Ansel Adams to the Tao of Photography. I became enthralled, and decided to start my own photography business. I immediately began getting gigs through word-of-mouth and networking and have had a great response to my work. Most of the demand has been for portraits and I have been told I have the ability to capture a person’s personality and bring out the best of them in the photos. I also have had the opportunity to land a contract with the town of Carrboro, photographing all of their events. I want to dabble in any and all types of photography and have explored architectural photography, nature photography and macro photography on the side.
I feel blessed to be able to continue to pursue what I love. I feel like photography and the “meaning of life” have a lot in common….the secret to both is “being” and nurturing the moment.