I grew up around cameras. I have my father and grandfather to thank for it. I got my first camera in middle school and I remember my parents complaining that I went through rolls of film too fast.
In my senior year of high school I worked at JCPenney’s Portrait Studio for two years where I learned how to work with people and come up with poses under time pressure.
In 2005, I attended an all photography school called Hallmark Institute of Photography. There I learned the technical, artistic and business aspects of photography. At the end of the year we had to create a portfolio that was to be judged by three successful, professional photographers. They gave my portfolio a score that placed me in the top 10% of my class. At graduation, I received an award of excellence for that accomplishment.
Upon graduation in 2006, I moved back to Buffalo, New York and worked for Lifetouch (http://www.lifetouch.com) for a year. There I received an award for being a National Finalist in the “Expressions on Underclassmen” category (meaning, I could get people to smile).
For the next eight years I enjoyed every minute of photographing so many families, babies and weddings. I took a two year hiatus after our second son was born, but returned part time in the Spring of 2018 doing portraits mostly at my outdoor studio.