It’s only fair that as you allow me to witness part of your story, I tell you a little bit about mine.
I was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida – I have never lived anywhere else (except for college, which was basically just an extended stay in another city). Lakeland is home to me; I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love this city and what is has become; as I have grown up, it seems Lakeland has grown up too. I wish to always call this place home, while still creating opportunities to explore other wonderful places. I think traveling makes you appreciate home a little more.
Art is a tradition in my family – whether it is drawing, music, singing or performing, I have been surrounded by art my entire life. Art is created and appreciated daily in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I grew up with loving parents and grandparents who celebrated and supported my love of being creative. My paternal grandfather is very creative and loves to work with his hands – he can dream up a concept and then execute a plan. My maternal grandfather is also gifted- he is a self-taught musician, excellent storyteller and drawer. I believe that much of my creativity came from them.
My first passion that I discovered early in life was drawing. My bookshelves are filled with countless sketchbooks and drawings from an early age. I believe that my love of photography stems from drawing. My favorite thing to draw has always been people; portraits fill countless pages in my sketch books. Graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, college is where my passion for photography began. Graduating with a degree in drawing helped me push my creative boundaries and helps me in conceptualizing a photograph. Having a formal understanding for what makes a good drawing or painting helps me all the time with photography.
My very first photo shoot was capturing the engagement of my two best friends. When they asked me to take their engagement pictures, I was a little surprised by their request since I didn’t own professional equipment and I wanted their photos to beautiful and special, but they had faith in me. The shoot turned out great for someone who kind of knew what she was doing but was mainly working off hunches and guesses. After that, people kept asking and I kept shooting. Eventually, I thought, “I have something really amazing going on here.”
Photography is not just a job to me. I have the desire to create beautiful images that capture the timelessness of each person’s unique story. I love hearing a story and capturing it through my lens. I have grown so much since that first photo shoot and I continue to grow with each session. I constantly push myself to do better and conceptually think about each shoot. Whether you have been following my work since the beginning or have just stumbled upon this site, thank you for your support, love, and encouragement. If I haven’t already, I hope to have the opportunity to learn and witness part of the story that makes you so unique, portraying it timelessly through my love of the art of photography.