I grew up around cameras. I have my father and grandfather to thank for it. I received 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 it was required to create a portfolio that was to be judged by three successful, professional photographers. They scored my portfolio 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).
I have been operating my business since 2006. Photography is not just a job for me. It is a part of me. I never stop documenting and consider it an honor whenever I am asked to do so.