I figured for my very first blog entry, marking my 10-year professional photography anniversary (is that a thing?), I will celebrate the story of how it all began.
So, I guess we can say it started here.
Yes, that's me.
That was the first of many cameras my (many) parents would put into my hands. A lovely, old, classic Polaroid.
Before I was born, my father bought my mother a Pentax camera and subsequently built her a dark room.
Growing up, there were photographs everywhere. In my father's home, an Ansel Adams that I can still picture in my head today and very nearby, a picture of a small boy looking directly into the camera, that my father shot himself. I even have this photograph in my home now. In my mother and step-father's house, there were the cool aerial pictures of crop circles and mayan sites as well as family photographs everywhere. Someone was always taking pictures. In my Grandparents' home, you couldn't even see the walls behind all the photographs... spanning from many decades.
When I was 16 and decided to take my first photography course in high school, my mother gave me that same Pentax 35mm, along with her light meter and sent me on my way. I mostly took pictures of kids... kids at the daycare where I worked, kids I babysat, kids in the park (back then there was no problem with this!).
When I was around 19 and taking my first photography course in college, my father bought me my first camera. I'll never forget it. We were in Philly and happened upon a camera shop and I mentioned how much I loved shooting and the next thing I knew, it was in my hands.
I took two photography courses in college and was failed by my teacher for taking "too many pictures of people and nothing else". That was my last photography course.
Another gift from my father (around 1999): my very first digital camera, a Sony Mavica mvc-fd71. Included in the gift box was a HUGE supply of 3.5" floppy disks. Yes. Floppy disks! This beaut of a 1 megapixel camera was my new pride and joy. I could only take a few pictures on each disk so I carried a million extras with me!
To this day, I still have every picture I took with that camera...
In my late 20's I decided to start shooting for my own pleasure. I would take pictures in school (I was an Art teacher in a high school), of kid's projects, of kids working, of school events, etc. In my early 30's, my father bought me my first professional camera, the Canon 40d. I loved it. Then followed the lenses... some were purchased from the small bit I was making at the start of my career, some were acquired using teaching money.
Sony Mavica mvc-fd71
were gifts from family. I trained for a couple years among some of the best Rochester NY Wedding Photographers, but it was around this time that I began traveling the world and discovering my love of street photography. In 2008, I left the states to travel and live abroad and in 2012, my father and step father jointly gifted me my first full-frame (!), the Canon 5DMKII. This has been my baby since. Soon after, and many gifts later from both fathers, and later from my other parents as well (I have a large family!), I found myself full-on in business.
As I traveled around the world in my 30's, I clicked away, professionally as well casually with my street and travel photography. In 2011, I held my first show at Image City Gallery in Rochester, NY. My travel photography and its stories spoke to people and I was quite humbled by this. By then I had settled in Slovakia and was working as a teacher, with my photography. Two years later, I moved to Berlin where I pursued my music while advancing the photography business as well. I continued shooting travel and street photography around Europe, while working on my family and wedding photography, which had been blossoming for many years.
Recently, I have relocated back home where I am a full-time Rochester NY photographer, specializing in weddings, family, senior portrait, headshot and business photography... and even food! I might have a few "extra" genres in my portfolio, but I certainly love to shoot a variety of things. I am also a mother and teacher. My daughter was gifted (by my father of course) her first Polaroid-style camera and she is just now enjoying exploring how to create her own beautiful photos.
I love my work, capturing those feelings, those moments, telling stories.
I owe everything, and not just because of equipment gifts, to my family for their support and inspiration ALL these years!
I hope you've enjoyed my story!
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