I come up with stories and make them real, that's my true love. A lot of people say they are kids at heart, but how many adults actually have a tea party with their stuffed animals in their heads and then create that in a photo set? There aren't many of us out there.
I also enjoy capturing moments of real life, because my head can't always be in the clouds. Lifestyle images are some of my favorites to capture. It reminds me to live in the moment and to open my eyes and find the beauty in my surroundings. Sometimes I think I forget to do that in L.A. I kind of take it for granted that there are mountains and sunshine every day, but when I'm shooting I realize it and it gives me the warm fuzzies. I also enjoy shooting fashion because you can get so weird and edgy with it. I haven't gotten much opportunity to do this, but it's something I'd love to try more.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Before I moved to LA, I had a small business in the Chicagoland area doing headshots and photo booths. It was a blast, but I wasn't pursuing my dream of working full time taking photographs. I also worked on the production end of things. I assisted for photographers, producers and even worked in film and TV for several years. I know what I want now, but I'm glad I had all that experience mixed in because I learned so much and met some great people.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I think they lack the experience I have. I've worked the soul-sucking desk job and serving food. I worked my way through the ranks. I know what a P.A. does on set and I know what a producer does, I learned all of it along the way. You can't forget where you came from.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
So many projects. I have a lot of ideas twirling around in my head, but what I'm focused on right now is the Free People Instagram site. I help create content and photograph for the California page, but a lot of my images have been posted on the main F.P. site of which I'm super proud!
I'm also working on this scanning project, I've been scanning my dad's old negatives and slides and I am presenting them in digital form. It's been interesting, and I love sharing a new point of view from my perspective. It's storytelling in a whole new way, and is challenging for me.
I'm also working on some other projects. I have been working with a blogger creating photos for her site and social media. I'm always shooting "couch sessions" which are basically portraits shot on my couch. I love how each model interprets it differently, and no shoot is ever the same even though the setting is.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I think my style morphs. If I'm shown what needs to be done, I can totally do it. If I'm shooting for myself its usually soft beautiful morning or evening light. I like shooting in nature as well. Most of the places I want to shoot fashion or models are 2 days hikes in, and I can't convince most people to do that with me, so for now I have a map with pins in it for the locations I'd love to shoot for the future.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I could just focus on photography and art direction. I'd love to be inspiring people and making decisions. It's a personality malfunction ;)
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I've been in LA for over two years, and I haven't landed a photo gig yet. I haven't put all of my efforts towards it until recently, but it has really hit my ego hard. It's very competitive here, and the less interest in my photography from others the less interest I have. So it's been a back and forth of emotions.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I'd have them do my errands and have them teach me how to edit video. I'd probably only need them like 5 hours a week. I'm not needy at all.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Before I went to college I would have told myself, "try harder, and don't pay too much attention to your professors... they don't really know." During college, "spend more time with your family, especially your dad." After college, "You're doing great... just focus more on photography, lady!!!!"
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would want to know how they get over the "blocks" in life. When you just don't feel like creating, but you know that's when you do your best work.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm looking for lifestyle, fashion, e-commerce, and social media projects. I know what I'm good at and just want to share my photos and view point with others. I love challenges and hard work is just part of my upbringing. I'd love to have projects where I get to incorporate backpacking, camping or gardening into it. Being outdoors makes me happy.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
My ideal collaboration is working with someone who trusts me and I trust them. I have a few of those going on right now, and it feels good. We start to explain things and realize the other person totally gets it.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
My goal is to make $100,000 a year taking photographs or working as a freelance art director. I recently learned L.A. is the city with the lowest pay and highest living cost... so my ideal salary might be high, but who doesn't love an over achiever?!
My day rate varies based on the scope of the project with rates starting at $40/hour. I don't like putting a price on my work, and I'm willing to work with most budgets, as long as I believe I can do your project justice.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Paper airplane or carrier pigeon. Although email and phone are great as well. It would be great if you could include a scope of your project, budget, favorite color and a photo of your pet (if you have one).
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
By looking at the world.
This member profile was originally published in September 2016.