Greetings from New Mexico! I am deep in Red Rock country in Abiqiu, just an hour outside of Santa Fe. Being here is always surreal to me, the landscape is like none I’ve seen in this world (and I’ve been to a lot of places). It’s equal parts exhilarating, exhausting and exciting to be working with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops on a new video series. It’s been an adjustment getting used to being filmed all day and night, shooting, hiking and photographing the landscape, and talking about photography. We’ve spoken about our photographic journey, getting out of creative ruts, building strong landscape photos, whether they be classic, abstract or intimate. Here are a few of examples of those.
I've been spending as much time at the beach as possible this summer, building my portfolio of Beach Lovers and working on my new project with mirrors. Since I last wrote here, I also shot a few weddings, attended a business workshop for wedding photography called Hustle & Flow, and I resigned from my part-time job as a Program Director at a non-profit. It was a scary move to make, but I knew it was time to throw myself into photography entirely.
Two weeks later, I have no regrets and the freedom of being my own boss feels better every day. I also recently received some very exciting news that I will be traveling once again to New Mexico in mid-September to work with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops on a new video series they are producing. I will be sharing more on that soon. Thank for following my journey and supporting my news, happy September!
I'm very behind in blogging and updating this since, mostly because I have been either shooting at the beach or working. It feels so good to be out in the sun, hearing the waves crashing and capturing moments of summer. Here are a few recent favorites.
It's finally summer, it's finally hot, and I'm finally starting to make my weekly treks to the beach. Pretty soon, I will be trying to go as often as possible so that I can amass a large collection of Beach Lovers work this summer. Here are a few shots from Rockaway and Coney Island. Stay tuned for more!
Talking about Beach Lovers at SVA was an honor and a privilege. I haven't spoken about Beach Lovers to an audience like that before, and it gave me the chance to reflect on how far I've come since I started the series, where I want to go with it, and why so many people relate to it. It also reminded me how excited I am to start shooting a new summer of couples. A huge thank you to the NY Photo Salon for including me in the inspiring line-up of photographers. And many thanks to everyone who came out to support me.
On Thursday May 3rd, Camera of the Month Club hosted our 6th group show to date! Pop-up show are a lot of fun, and a lot of work. We arrived, measured, and hung everything on the same day, and opened the doors to the public at 6PM. We had a full house and lots of positive feedback. It was my first time curating a CMC show, with fellow Director Marko, and I really loved doing it. Many thanks to everyone who helped put this show together, the hanging team, participants and all of our community who came out to support us.
I'm excited to announce that my Beach Lovers image 'Rolling in the Deep' was chosen to be part of the permanent online collection, "Water". This exhibition is hosted by PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont, and curated by Ann Jastrab. She writes, "When I narrowed the nearly 3000 photographs down to 290, I stared at them and thought: I could curate a show of the sea, the wild, unpredictable sea. Just the sea." As I am such a big ocean lover, it is especially meaningful to have been selected to be part of this show.
I'll be sharing the online catalogue when it is published, but for now please visit the link here.
I am thrilled to announce my photo was selected to be in an exhibition in Berlin in late May 2018. I submitted this photo to Featureshoot as part of a contest, and I was thrilled to learn that it will be exhibited at BERLIN BLUE art. Alexa Becker, the Acquisitions Editor for photography and art books at the influential publisher Kehrer Verlag, has selected 30 images from The Print Swap collection to be part of our upcoming exhibition at BERLIN BLUE art. This will be the fifth-ever Print Swap show and the first in Europe.
Two days ago at Studio 7 Gallery in Fort Tilden, Queens, I hosted the panel discussion Women in Focus: A Discussion about Women in Photography,' featuring photographers Jennifer Pottheiser, Tara DiGiovani, Armelis D'Orville and Angelica Briones. Between the distance and weather, I was not very helpful about the turnout. T o my delight, we had a solid turnout, a rich panel discussion, and engaged audience questions. We talked about our work, our career highlights, and the unique issues we've faced as women in the industry, including a lack of representation, pay inequality, and safety and harassment in our work. We all agreed that a photograph has no gender and that our work must always speak for itself, but that it is important to recognize these challenges. Finding or creating community, mentors, and allies in the field was something we agreed helped alleviate the isolation many of us feel at times in photography. I'm thankful to the Rockaway Artist Alliance for hhaving us, and to have been included in the 'Of Women' exhibit.
Every so often, I look at my website analytics because I'm interested in which photos appeal most to people, and which blog posts are doing well. It turns out that my most-read blog post to date is "On Selfies: The Modern Day Self-Portrait, Female Empowerment & Beauty." I wrote it in 2014, as I was getting more serious about photography and selfie culture was exploding. After seeing this statistic, I almost deleted the post. Was talking about my own selfies more interesting to my readers than seeing my photographic work? Are women more interesting to people when they talk about beauty?
But before I spiraled down a rabbit hole of questions, and pressed 'Delete,' I changed my mind. My thoughts, feelings and anxieties around beauty, vanity, body image, aging and our obsession with youth continue to preoccupy me, as much as I don't want to admit that. Maybe it makes me a 'bad feminist' to think so much about these things, but it's almost impossible not to given the toxic level of messaging around we receive on those issues and the daily pressure to look young and flawless.
I'm turning 35 in a few weeks, and I can say that I have earned my face, for better or worse. Sun, stress, late nights, too much wine, much laughter, tears, teenage acne, bouts of insomnia. It's all there. Embarking on my Reflected project using mirrors hasn't helped, as I inevitably catch glimpses of myself that I don't like and immediately put down the mirror. But I try to fight my harsh criticisms, as I remember there is an entire industry built upon women's insecurities and self-loathing, and I don't want to give into that. So I'll leave up my post about selfies, I'll continue to project with mirrors, and I'll work hard on being kinder to myself.
I'm so excited to announce that I am hosting and speaking on the panel, "Women in Focus." I am part of the group art show "Of Women" hosted by the Rockaway Artists Alliance, and during my gallery-sitting time, I had the option to do a talk, demonstration or event. I thought to create a panel about women in photography, and hence the birth of this panel. Join us for a candid conversation about women in the photography industry, our personal and professional journeys to launch our careers, and the successes and challenges we've faced a long the way. Wine & cheese will be served.
I've been spring cleaning my apartment, and it occurred to me this website needed a cleaning, and new look as well. I went through all my work to ensure I felt really good about what is posted here, and revamped the homepage and galleries. I hope you enjoy, send me your thoughts! Is there anything you'd want to see more or less of?
Cat Lady /
It's no secret that I love cats dearly. I have two sweet cats of my own that I adopted in Summer 2015, and they have brought me so much happiness and companionship since then. They are sisters, and their names are NaeNae (the black cat) after the song, and Skittles (the tabby), because she is both skittish and sweet. I adore photographing them, and they are incredibly photogenic, if I do say so myself. I'd love to do a small project involving cats when the weather gets warmer, I haven't quite figured out what that is yet. For now, enjoy my sweet cat children.
It's been equally gratifying and humbling to have grown Camera of the Month Club over the past three and a half years. We were a group of 10 or 11 photographers for the first year or so, and now we're over 40 photographers. We are photographers at all levels of our careers, from various demographic backgrounds, and we come together to give each other support and critique. It is a really inspiring group to be a part of and we are trying to plan our Spring show right now. I'll be sharing that information as soon as we have our venue in place.
I have a few pieces of news that are pending, but I will only share them when they are official and I am allowed to get excited. In the meantime, here are some photos I've taken over the last few weeks as I wait impatiently for nice weather.
If you can't already tell by the subject of my work, or if we have met, you know that I love warm weather, summer, and the beach. I am not a winter person. I have worked harder this year to complain less about the cold, but it really does get me down. I don't feel inspired to make work or go outside to shoot photos, but I know it's something that I have to do to continue improving my craft.
I started experimenting with mirrors, and am starting to enjoy the process more and more. The image that won the Feature Shoot contest prompted that curiosity. Here are some recent experiments.
Happy (belated) new year! I am feeling so excited and optimistic about 2018, in part because I kicked off my new year with a trip to Belize with my dear friend Ines Bellina (follow her writing/podcast/travel ideas here). We took our first trip together in 2005, while studying at McGill University together. We had a raucous time in Panama City Florida on Spring break, and the rest is history, as they say. Ines and I then ended up in NY together, and have had traveled a few times together, most recently Santa Fe, and now Belize.
We had planned to travel first to San Igancio (inland) and then to spend several days in Caye Caulker for some much-needed beach time. While I will always jump at the chance to escape winter for warmer climates, I now look to do so in places that will allow me to grow my body of Beach Lovers work. Unfortunately the weather really did not cooperate (thank you climate change), and I only found a few couples whose photo I was able to take. This is one of them. Perhaps it was the Universe telling me to be patient and wait for better weather in NY, where the majority of the series is captured.
Admittedly, I would normally be sorely disappointed by not getting great vacation weather, but my travel companion and I decided to make the most of the rain, clouds and winds, and truly fell in love with Belize. The tropical colors and plants, the fresh food, our day of snorkeling, and all the lovely people we met (even apologizing for the bad weather we got).
The motto in Caye Caulker is: Go slow, but keep moving. I think we could all use more of this type of thinking, myself included, and I've carried this home with me in my plans for 2018
2017 wasn't an easy year; personally, professionally, politically. But it was not without its highlights and successes. We grew Camera of the Month Club by leaps and bounds, both in membership and the quality of our work, and we hosted two group shows. I won a Nikon scholarship to attend the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in July, and attended the 'Marketing Your Photographs' workshop. Beach Lovers was published in La Reppublica and Phoblographer. I worked with some wonderful couples in the many weddings I shot throughout the year. My 2017 highlight was having my own solo show at Picture Farm Gallery for Beach Lovers. I've wanted to show there for years, and it was an honor and unbelievable thrill to have my work there for two months. I was able to donate funds to Puerto Hurricane Relief because of my print sales. And the year ended with my photo being selected by Feature Shoot to be part of their December holiday show.
I'm grateful for all these successes, and the support I have received along the way. I will be talking about 2018 in my next post, but for now, Happy New Year, and thank you for following this journey with me!
Last night, Camera of the Month Club celebrated the holidays with our annual print swap and holiday party. I looked around the room, at the group that we have grown and nurtured for the last 3.5 years, and was filled with such a rush of gratitude and hope for 2018. My photography practice has been truly enriched by the incredible diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and photography styles every member brings to the table. I've made new friends, learned an incredible amount, and I am so proud of the work we have done together. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this process, I can't wait to see what 2018 brings!