FOCAL POINT surveys the landscape of emerging photographers and selects three talented, driven, and noteworthy artists to highlight each quarter. Each FOCAL POINT photographer receives mentoring from Crusade for Art to think about their work, their target audience, and how to best engage them. In this interview series, every FOCAL POINT photographer gets asked the same three questions, and their answers become a jumping off point for the mentorship.
Describe the arc of your photography career so far.
After 10 years as an Air Force Registered Nurse, I began teaching myself photography in 2006 and launched a child and family portraiture business in San Diego in June 2006. I continued on that path until we relocated to Kansas for one year (my husband is in the Navy). It was at that time that I decided I was going to take a break from the portraiture business and get back to photographing my children. That was a significant time in my photography career because it was a period of experimentation and growth.
Next was an assignment to Tampa for four years. Having a pool in our backyard and relatively nearby beaches, I decided to purchase underwater housing. I loved photographing in the water and it was almost as if the photographs spoke to me, pulling me in and having me longing for more. After about a year, I decided I would take my FROM THE SEA series to the PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review. I was extremely nervous and really had no idea what to expect, other than looking forward to receiving some constructive feedback. To my huge surprise, I ended up receiving first place, which resulted in a solo show and self-published book for the following year’s reviewers. To say that I was blown away would be an understatement. This was the start of my work really being recognized within the fine art community.
I also have had the incredible opportunity to be mentored by Jock Sturges. He is honest and thoughtful, yet doesn’t sugar coat things, which I find refreshing. He has encouraged and pushed me in the best way possible. Jock was instrumental in the launch of my Werkdruck book with Galerie Vevais, produced by Alexander Scholz, which can be viewed and purchased here: http://galerievevais.de/products/item.werkdruck_20.html.
While often tough, I truly believe that being a military family and relocating every few years is a gift. Each relocation offers new challenges and opportunities. It was our recent move to Japan, which was the impetus of my most recent series, HOME AWAY.
I also cannot leave this question without mentioning that there have been so many individuals who have offered thoughts, suggestions and advice along the way. I am grateful for each and every one of them and wouldn’t be where I am today without their influence. As the African proverb states, “it takes a village ” and I so wholeheartedly believe that.
If you were exactly where you wanted to be in your fine art photography career, what would that look like?
I really am grateful for where I am today and for any and all opportunities that come my way. I believe that with really hard work, dedication, commitment and patience, great things can be accomplished and opportunities will present themselves — and it is this that I hold on to. I hope to never stop creating. I hope that people continue to enjoy my photographs. I hope that I am able to inspire and teach others. I am pretty new to fine art photography and so I’ll simply say -- I will continue to dream big and setting new goals along the way. I dream of one day having gallery representation but for the moment, that takes me back to working hard and continuing forward momentum. And with that, I may have just written circles around your question.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Photography-speaking, my goals for the next 12 months are to keep photographing and pushing myself. I plan to review and possibly revise my online photography workshop offerings. I want to begin exploring collage and mixed media, with my photography, along with looking into some alternative printing methods. I hope to photograph in the waters in Japan this summer. I’m also thinking about unique presentation of my HOME AWAY series. Lastly, I would be beyond thrilled to have a solo show in Japan, while I am living there.
This most likely will be our last year in Japan, so I hope to do a lot of traveling around Asia along with embracing all that Japan has to offer me and my family. I’m homeschooling while living in Japan and my oldest is attending college in the US, so with that said, I simply hope to survive the next 12 months.