"I'm a big fan of people being exactly who they are." --We Bought a Zoo
Hello. :) I believe photography is all about connection or quite simply, it doesn't work. And it's a two way street--I must feel connected to you, but you must also feel a connection with me. That is how "connection" translates into your imagery. Since I'll be asking questions about you, I thought it only fair then that you get to know me a bit through questions. (Read as little or as much as you dare.)
Do you have any tattoos? What do they mean? I have one tattoo, and I got it when I was 45! I had thought about getting many different tattoos over the years, but it wasn't until I read the book, For Everyone, by Jason Reynolds. It should absolutely be required reading for everyone not sure whether they should follow their dreams, their passion. It was the inspiration for me to pursue photography and film-making full time after teaching middle school for 13 years. It inspired me to 'jump anyway' when I was afraid and unsure. And so those words, 'jump anyway' are now on my inner left wrist, to serve as a permanent reminder to myself that everything I desire is on the other side of fear, and if I never jump, I'll never know. Jump anyway.
What are two of your bucket list items? My bucket list seems to consist mostly of travel these days. Number 1 currently is to travel and photograph Prague. My oldest son and I visited Slovakia and Austria in 2018, and I'm dying to go back. Number 2 would be to part of a social justice photo essay project or film that helps to give a voice to a population that has a limited voice. I don't have one particular idea for the project--I have many! I love stories of underdogs kicking ass, and I would love to help bring more of those stories to the world's stage.
Where is your happy space? Oh man, hard call, as I have many. A perfect happy space for me would be curled up with an amazing book (most likely non-fiction for me), in a super warm, bulky blanket in my pajamas and wool socks, all the while listening to the rain on the window outside. If it were chilly outside, I'd have a hot coffee with Bailey's Mudslide Mocha creamer and two organic Stevias. Of course, that's only if it's in the morning. If I drink coffee after noon, I'm up half the night, literally....my brain will refuse to shut down. Of course, the other perfect happy place for me would be sitting on a blanket at a skate park watching my sons skateboard. It's my literal zen of proudness, if there is such a thing.
What do value in others? Compassion, kindness, and empathy are my big three. I think the world needs a shit ton more of these and we would all have a much better time while we are on this planet.
What are you most grateful for? The obvious ones, of course: my sons, and my family and my friends that are like family to me (and my friendships are lifelong). But I'm also extremely grateful that I have courage and a drive to accomplish my goals and dreams...and the foresight to know that life is exactly what we make it.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? Ugh. I have so many. One particular one that comes to mind is that when my oldest son was 3 years old, we were both home sick for the day. At one point, he went into his bedroom and came back with a pair of handcuffs and asked if I wanted to play "cops and robbers." I obliged, and let him put the handcuffs on me. Now, in retrospect, at the time I had the conscious thought, "Wow, these seem like real handcuffs. Toys can be so realistic." Well, when it came time to take off the cuffs--you can probably see where this is going--they wouldn't come off BECAUSE THEY WERE REAL HANDCUFFS. Unbeknownst to me, my brother had given my son a pair of real handcuffs the last time we had visited his house. An accident? I have no idea, but if you know my brother, probably not. It was hugely funny until I had to pee. Have you ever had to try and pee with handcuffs on? But I decided I would have to hold it because I had no idea if I would be able to get my pants back up by myself, and I knew I would need a locksmith or someone to come save me, and THAT would be even more cringeworthy. Ultimately, I had to call the cops to come let me out. When I called, the dispatcher clearly did NOT believe that my son had put me in the handcuffs, and repeatedly asked me "how did this happen?" The officer who responded was none the more impressed by the situation. He just sat there stone-faced while I did the pee-pee dance and thanked him profusely for his time.
What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why? Laundry. I detest it. I don't mind washing and drying it. I hate, hate, hate folding it and putting it away, and half the time I end up washing it two or three times because I forgot it in the washer the day before. I'm working very hard on channeling Marie Kondo and finding joy in my clothing so I will somehow love this chore one day. (I'm an optimist, for sure!)
What were you born to do? To help people rise, period. I truly believe we are all connected and by doing "good" for you, I do "good" for me. I think that's why photography means so much to me. When my clients see their images--yes, I hope they see their physical beauty in a way they never have before. But more than that, I want them to "feel" their beauty from their source--and (for me), that usually comes through my candid images--the images of people experiencing life in it's natural state.
What inspires you? Guts. Grit. Overcoming adversity. Following your heart even when it comes with judgment. Having the courage to remain steadfast in your beliefs. People who don't give a shit about what others think. Stories of survival. Love.