How Photography became the love of my life
I started with a polaroid and then a disposable film camera. I'd click away for fun and come out with blurry and over exposed images. When I entered High School I took a course on analogue photography as an elective and learned to develop and print my own film. My images became more thought out and purposeful. I'm proud to say they were in focus and well lit. I felt so calm being in a dark room and watching life blossom onto a blank page. It was just me and the visions I saw, captured in a moment.
I graduated early from high school at the age of 16. It was unplanned, I wasn't sure what would happen next. I ended up at college a few months later. I took digital photography for a semester but was not impressed by the class. There was no teacher like my high school teacher, Bev Bennett. She had high expectations for all students. A perfect grade in her class was something that had to be earned and not easily given. I still remember the day I mixed the chemicals wrong and I ruined my film. I was devastated and in metaphorical pain. I felt flustered when I had to tell her my mistake. I was guilty of possibly ruining other students' film. Bev gave me a stern look, her eyes peering through her glasses hanging off the edge of her nose. She gave me a piece of chalk and told me to write "This day will never happen again."
Well, that day has never happened again.
In college I was a double major and double minor. Focusing on psychology and cognitive science along with art, including fashion. I studied abroad several times, in China and Italy.
Aside from working in the art industry, I still continue work as a behavior analysts and continue research in the field of neuropsychology.
After college graduation I traveled overseas on a journey. I had taken some self portraits and posted them on the internet. I made connections before my graduation and had photoshoots set up abroad. My modeling career took off. I traveled to more countries than I ever imagined, currently 31 to be exact, and was published in magazines and shown in art museums and galleries in five different countries. Some images I modeled in won awards at national photo conventions. I was happy I could say "Hey, that's me. I'm a part of something I didn't think I could be."
At first I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the industry. I loved the fast pace. But over time I realized I found love in being a part of the 'behind the scenes' of a photoshoot more than being a model in front of the camera. When asked for my opinion on set, I enjoyed helping with suggestions on artistic aspects. I was allowed to share ideas and concepts, and given freedom to pose freely. Photographers started asking me what theme should be shot, and I appreciated that they cared for my input. During fashion shoots, designers allowed me to choose outfits and mix accessories. I was honored to be given this trust. I loved looking at the photographs when the shoot was over and it occurred to me that modeling was not my dream. Instead, modeling was something I only wanted to experience.
The reason I adore being a photographer, is because I have these visions in my mind that I can translate through my camera. I can capture the essence of people, or a moment, or even capture a fantasy. I have gone through emotional highs and lows, no one's life is perfect. There is heart break and tragedy. Photography has been the one thing that makes me feel like I have something to share with the world. Although I might model here and there, it's very rare these days- as being a photographer is what truly makes me happiest.
Photography is its own language that so many people can relate to. It makes me feel less alone and more connected to those around me and the world, along with my own self reflections and feelings. Photography is wonderful because there is no wrong or right way to shoot. Everything is experimental. I also find that, as artists, everyone is inspired by others and inspiring others- a constant chain reaction- and I LOVE it!
I shoot all genres of photography. Even for bookings where clients would like images for their personal use, I shoot anything from pets, nature, and infants, to honeymoon, weddings, and even fetish and art nude. I don't limit myself when it comes to photography, if anything I adore how it brings so many individuals together. I never judge clients if someone has an idea that isn't spoken of much. At this day and age, nothing surprises me and nothing can make me feel uncomfortable enough not to shoot :) I've had some very intriguing requests and in the end (although they are not in my public portfolio), I find they are some of my best work because I had to think outside of my regular zone of creativity.
Please note, my commercial work is not included here because of NDA. This portfolio is just a small selection of some work I have done. I respect the wishes of my clientele who wish to remain anonymous and not have their images displayed.
In exhibitions, my work usually comes with an artist statement, to explain its meaning and my aim. With dream-like concepts, a photograph is usually accompanied by a short story or poem written by myself unless otherwise noted.
I do not discriminate over race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. If you're interested in hiring me for a public project or private photoshoot, confidentiality and respect go hand in hand with my work.
A big thank you to all who have worked with me over the years. Thank you to my friends and family who have encouraged me to follow my happiness. I would be nothing without your continuous love, support, and friendship. We are all artists, inspiring one another.