I have been falling in love with photography in different ways since I was a teenager. However, my relationship with photography has not always been easy. I dropped out of my first photography class in college because my eyes kept glazing over as the instructor talked on and on about F-stops and reciprocity charts. My second photography teacher forbid his students to take any photographs of their pets. About the same time that I found Elliott Erwitt's book on "Dogs", I realized that I choose what to capture on film... and sometimes those moments capture me.
I became hopelessly in love with photography after my first darkroom class. An hour taking photos would seem like five minutes and a day developing prints would seem like an hour. I have never lost the initial excitement I felt when I first watched an image come to life in the developing tray - but I also must admit that I get into my darkroom less and less these days because of the digital revolution. I have overcome my bad attitude about digital photography and have embraced it as another tool to use to express myself or a vision. I now turn to my darkroom when I crave solitude, need to meditate or work something out. Lately, being in the darkroom feels like going back in time.
My biggest hurdle as a photographer in my thirties was to work on letting go of fear and sometimes that meant not being afraid to do the things my teachers told me not to! Like most photographers I suffer over the photos I did not take.
Later on, I kept trying to figure out what my "subject area" was and I finally figured out that it's anything that my heart is drawn too... and when it comes to matters of the heart, I don’t want to ever limit myself.
I got tired of photographing trees, rocks and mountains and when I ventured into wedding photography I felt something ignite in me that was drawn to the raw intensity of emotions at a wedding.... My past experience as both a high school teacher and a counselor has given me a great foundation for my work. I love the multi-task nature and excitement (even the stress) of the wedding day. More often than not, a couple is under a great deal of stress from all the excitement...So, to see a couple re-live their wedding day, through their photographs, is my favorite part of being a wedding photographer.
I initially resisted photographing weddings. A friend recently reminded me that I once made the comment that I would never do wedding photography! The thought of it would conjure up heart shaped images of a bride and groom montaged inside a champagne glass! At the time, I was completely unaware of the creative potential in wedding photography. Then, five years ago, I agreed to photograph a wedding for a young couple that I was unable to say "NO" to and within one year I had completely merged a fine art photography focus with wedding photography. In this process of applying art photography to wedding photography, I became hooked and have been ever since.
However, I do still love trees, rocks and mountains...