I have always been interested in art. As a child, my dad would sit with me and teach me how to draw, using pencils and charcoal, understanding and refining lights and shadow. My parents had gotten me a camera in my early teens (a point and shoot) which I used constantly. I drew lots of still life images, but when it came to drawing people, I didn’t have much luck. I decided that there was only room for one Picasso in this world, and picked up the camera. (by this time I had bought my first Nikon)
When I blew the exposures at a concert I attended, I asked a commercial photographer that I knew what I did wrong, and he invited me to work with him so that I could learn about photography. I apprenticed with him for almost two years, working daily on lighting and jewelry catalogues, and bartending at night for my income.
After a car accident that laid me up for a period of time, I decided to attend the Rhode Island School of Photography. Upon graduation, I worked for two different photographers and then opened my portrait studio a year later. I have always had a heart for people and celebrating life, so it was natural for me to photograph weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and family portraits.
In 1984, I joined PPARI, PPANE and PPA. I started attending NEIPP around that time also. The continued education has been imperative to my success, and the friendships that I have made have been the highlight of these associations. When my son was little, I was not able to attend NEIPP for a few years. I finally went back in 2010, studying with Ed Pedi, and my world opened up. I realized that I had been trying to go it alone for many years, and I was finally home when I was able to attend again.
I have been blessed for 33 years in my own business…. making memories for people, photographing their children and watching them grow throughout the years, meeting new people and just having a wonderful time in this profession. I love the fact that every day is different… different people, situations, different slices of life. And, I am so lucky to have so many clients that are like family to me.
As the years go by, and trends come and go, I have struggled with thinking that I had to change to stay relevant. It has taken me quite a long time, but I realize that I am a classically trained, fine art portrait artist and will always be. I have to be true to myself and embrace what is in my heart. It is what I love, the images are timeless, and I know it is my gift to share with others.