as a child i was painfully shy and introverted. i hid behind my outgoing and outspoken older sister. a lot. as a teenager i was shy and self conscious. i was artistic, sensitive and extremely creative. i wrote, stayed in a lot, and led a very sheltered life even through college. i have no regrets about that…though. i remember walking the campus of Penn State with a fishing tackle box in one hand (filled with watercolors and ink for my art classes), my thick Shakespeare book in the other and my camera around my neck…always my camera.
senior year my parents allowed me and my camera to go to Paris. that trip opened up something in me that forever changed my outlook and perspective. even though i was finishing my degree in literature and writing, the beauty of that trip triggered a deep passion for photo jouornalism and portraiture. when i returned i was not the same person in may ways. it was, the very first time i realized that the big world was out there waiting for me to engage with it.
fast forward to me spending a year after college ‘hiding out’ as my father called it… during that time i studied our family albums… and fell in love with the black and white images throughout my grandfather’s many photos. i looked at them over and over not knowing that my life would also be filled with photos. those simple childhood days fueled a fire in me that burns still. there were 4 grandchildren all one year apart and we spent a lot of time at our grandparents’ house playing and eating junk food. i escaped the smoke from all of the many cigarettes upstairs in the kitchen by my family and retreated to the basement where said photo albums (and said junk food) and cleaner air were stored. it dawns on me now just where my passion for being the family historian originated…my grandfather. he was a hard working self-made man. brilliant–he had to pass up a scholarship to MIT for electrical engineering due to being color blind. he was the son of an italian immigrant who married an italian immigrant (making my mom a pure bred italian–something she is very proud of). he was passionate and quite accomplished in his life ending up being the president of the AFL-CIO and the Pittsburgh Building Trades Union. those albums had many images of him at business events in a tailored suit and tie in addition to images of the smoky family spaghetti/chianti dinners. there were even a few prominent inaugural invitations in there.
but what i remember most is that he always wanted to share photos with people and was so proud. newly developed pics were always something to bond with and to smile about during a visit to their house. and i remember his engineer-like handwriting on the back of each image (and next to it in some cases) indicating who everyone was… (something i found myself doing to our family albums after i finished treatment for ovarian cancer so the boys would know who everyone was IF they ever found themselves looking back at my dusty stash of albums. a girl can dream right?) indeed his influence was strong.
i liked the idea of being the ‘family historian’ just like him…the documentarian…the family photographer. i liked the idea of making sure everyone is in the photos and is captured perfectly and respectfully preserved in an album. i liked the idea of enjoying the passage of time…and of reflecting back on it as a chance to relive it. i ‘see’ you and the love that surrounds you.
anyone who’s ever known me knows that i almost always have my camera (or two) with me…for simple every day-days, play dates, travel, summer adventures, events, parties–just about everything. i’ve always resisted getting in front of the camera and preferred being behind it. portraits are my passion and photography is my job yet i’ve never felt like i’ve ‘worked’ a day in my life. capturing the moments of life as they unfold. often times i’ll be walking around town or hiking and see a family trudging along with their little ones and i’ll stop and ask for their camera or phone so i can snap a photo for them and make a memory. (they always light up–and it makes my day!)
with friends, family, clients (and everyone in between) i am the historian, and the artist, the introvert noticing the connections and details in your life than you probably are not noticing…the ones that may seem small in the moment but are larger than life in retrospect. you can be sure what in working with me you are going to be well documented!
i absolutely love what i do. photo journalism is in my blood. it’s something that makes me feel needed, appreciated, respected, loved and cherished. it’s the space where i truly belong. so i’d love the chance to work with you and yours in the very near future–whether it’s a family event, senior photos, a beginning of life or end of life celebration, a birthday party, a regular photo session or a day-in-the-life session. i can assure you…i’m your girl.
thanks to my dear grandfather for starting the spark in me. i miss you and can’t wait until we can compare our albums together again someday over a few glasses of chianti.
now back to editing yesterday’s session. true bliss. (i can’t wait to share those images!) stay tuned!