First and foremost… my love for South Jersey and wanting to document my journey. I wanted to capture it to the best that I could and I kept getting better and better and had a desire to learn more…
But this is a tough one to answer….
I get asked this often by friends and family! To be honest.. What made me go into it now? Well, it was to try to earn some money! I’m like a lot of struggling families out there. However, I’ve loved photography and the artistry behind it since I was a little girl.
My dad had an old Nikon F3 and I started to play around with it in the early 2000s. There was a dividing line those days. Digital cameras were starting to come out on the market and a lot of them took pixellated and grainy photos. I wanted to have nice photographs. I was 19 years old, living on my own and building my dream garden with my own hands. I wanted to capture the progress.
Both these captures are horrid… Well.. in my eyes.. but this shows my progress. This is when I first started to dabble into portraiture.
Both kids first times in the studio! Not the best, but is memorable for me!
I found my dad’s old camera by going through some old boxes and it was love at first sight. I wanted to learn what I could. Remember, this is the time when digital was just starting to get some notice. If you took a photo, you could not see it right away! There was no computer screen or viewfinder. You had to have your film sent out and wait a bit (sometimes a week) for your prints to come back. You had NO CLUE what they would come out looking as.
At first, it was trial and error, but then I started to see some beautiful pictures start to emerge and the rest is pretty much history.
Harrisonville Lake on the border of Gloucester & Salem Counties. The lake is frozen here. This was my first love… landscape photography.
I always had an eye for composition. My mom went to school for fashion design and I, of course, grew up loving clothes. I was also an interior decorator at this time when I picked up my dad’s Nikon. I have always loved putting together color schemes and different textures.
I purchased my first point and shoot in 2005. It was a whopping 5 mega pixels! In this time, I moved back to South Jersey (I lived in Pennsylvania for almost 6 years) and I started to discover the beauty all around us. I started getting into photography even more and became a serious hobbyist. Trust me, this new digital “invention” was amazing! I got to see my captures right away 🙂
In 2010, I purchased my first “serious” camera. I learned it in and out. I have even published work with it!
In 2011, I started the transition from landscape photography to portraits. The reason why… Well, I wanted to learn and take better photos of my son. I made it a point to not try to be a perfectionist, but to try to improve as I went on… And I did and continue to do.
Another kid later (a daughter), two camera upgrades (and a ton of different lenses), two published books, and a popular blog (at my sister site). I’m busy! I’m always working on two other books to be published.
One of the first captures of both of the kids together. Around this time, I started to read up more about portraiture. It’s not the best capture, but it was an adorable moment. I just love the way he is looking at her in this!
I’m always educating myself when it deals with photography. I have a true love and passion for it. It is not a profession you can walk into and expect to make big bucks right away. It is a lot of learning and fine tuning of your craft.
Anyone can pick up a camera and click away, that is the easy part, but there is a technical and artistic side that needs to be developed and learned. From getting it right in camera, learning composition, how to work with people, customer service skills, business skills, marketing, investing some big bucks in equipment, and learning different editing techniques. There’s a ton involved from start to finish.
You really have to love this profession, if you decide to dive into it! I do love it. It can get crazy sometimes and busy, but it’s definitely my calling. I love seeing families I work with smile, during our sessions and after, when their product is completed. I am truly blessed to have some amazing clients!
P.S. From my travels all over South Jersey and I have been to some extremely remote places, I know all the best locations!