1. Tell us about how you became interested in photography.
I first became interested in photography during my high school years. Digital cameras began to become quite popular, and I always loved technology. I bought my first point and shoot camera in my sophomore year and was photographing everything around me, from candid shots with friends at school, to my mom’s garden in our back yard. I instantly fell in love, and it made me want to keep learning more about photography! I upgraded to a DSLR, and that’s when I realized, this is what I want to be doing with my life. I applied to New England School of Photography, and spent two years there, majoring in portraiture and architectural photography, graduating in 2010.
2. Can you tell us how you learned about TSF?
I first learned of TSF through a featured post that I saw on Facebook. I was instantly intrigued and had to know more about this wonderful foundation. After reading up on the foundation and looking at how beautiful other contributors’ photographs were, and how important it is to the families, I just knew I had to somehow take part in this! I worked as a CNA for several years prior to and during photography school, so I always had that caring and compassionate background that you need to be a TSF photographer. I was beyond honored when TSF had brought me on as a Picture of Hope Photographer!
3. What has photography taught you about yourself? About others?
Photography has taught me A LOT. If I had to choose one thing, it would be confidence. You cannot be a successful photographer without having confidence in yourself, and in your work. It is a scary thing, putting your artistic vision out there for everyone to see, for everyone to judge. Without confidence, I don’t think I would be where I am today!
I have learned about others that they are not as confident or comfortable in their own skin in front of the camera, but if you just let them be themselves and have fun, that is when they will shine and that’s when the session is a true success. I can imagine it’s a bit scary being in front of the camera, so I always say, just be yourselves, and all will work out beautifully.
4. What gets you excited about a shoot?
I have been in business for almost five years as a portrait photographer, and I must admit I STILL get pre-session butterflies before every single session — haha. You really have no idea what is going to go down during a session, whether it is the meltdown of a toddler, or an unexpected thunderstorm in the middle of a hot summer session! But this is the stuff that gets me excited. I think I find the challenge of making something work out, despite all of the chaos that could go down during the shoot, somehow, exciting!
5. Best location you’ve taken photos?
This is a tough question! Anywhere with amazing light is my favorite location. I am a natural light photographer, so I love working in all different locations, working with the light it has to offer me. If I had to name one, it would probably be the back yard of a senior I photographed this past fall. She had a huge wooded area to work with, and this crazy vine-like tree that she actually climbed for one of the shots! I had so much fun working with all of the elements of her back yard, and the light was unbelievable.
6. What have you gained from your experience as a TSF affiliate? (Personally and professionally)
Being a TSF affiliate is such an honor. When you leave a TSF session, you feel just plain old good. It is an amazing thing to be able to capture these precious lives on camera, and to offer these wonderful, strong families photos to last them a lifetime. I feel so lucky that I am able to contribute to this foundation with my photography.