I think I do what people would call boudoir exclusively. If you consider intimate and emotional photography with or without various layers of clothing boudoir. I know there is a debate on what boudoir really means but to me I shoot boudoir. I shoot the way I see things though the lens of my experiences, my taste for life and I shoot the same way every time whether I am in private or public. I call what I do intimate editorial art. I thought about those 3 words for a long time before I decided to use them. The word intimate to me is connected, emotional, passionate, raw and vulnerable and is the essence of boudoir. Editorial for me is storytelling with details and crafting the story of who you are into an heirloom album or gallery wall. Art is very objective in what it is but it means I can leave the image as is or paint it, either way it is deserving of your wall. You are art to me and deserve to be honored by being on a wall.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
I have been asked many times. I always say that anyone can be anyone they want to be, you can learn anything you want to learn. To get good at something you really have to immerse yourself into it, stay with it and you absolutely have to have a passion for it. Passion is suffering through all the negative things that come with anything in life. Every day there are new photographers who pop up and think they will be start a photography businesses but the truth is they wont stay in business for long if they are not passionate about it. Also no matter what you do in life do it for the pure joy of it because you love it don’t do it for whatever monetary gain you think you will get.
Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?
I have done several and believe everyone should! I also think male photographers should do a dudoir session. It helps you know what your clients go through.
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
I believe both make and female can do boudoir. There are woman who can only go to a woman and women who can only go to a man.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
I shoot for myself all the time. I also have fun all the time even with the camera in my hand. I travel, eat out, sing, stay social and active. Only time in my life I ever felt burnt out is when people are rude and don’t understand the value in art but everyone is different. Rude, ignorant, overbearing people are hard to deal with. Today I try to avoid people that drain me.
What do you love about the business?
I love that what I do has such an impact on how a woman sees herself after a session. I have seen tears, marriages get better and woman walk away with such confidence. It is always amazing to see and I cant tell you how many times I have cried with clients. I feel its an honor!
What do you hate about the business?
I hate that there are people that think that what we do is porn when it clearly is not. I also hate mean and rude people who want to ruin your day by being judgmental but the world is full of them.
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
I love networking with other photographers! I am almost finished with the CPP certification through PPA. I am also a member of AIBP, TPPA and Artists Alive and Well.
Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?
When I have time I enter contests. I have won several with AIBP. I want to start competing at PPA
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
Center of the plate fine dining anything! If not that then I love a good cheeseburger
One guilty pleasure in life?
Beer and karaoke
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
What’s one song on your playlist?
I am still playing the whole 50 shades of grey cd all the time… earned it
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Favorite shoes to wear?
Flip flops or none
What are you currently reading?
Start with Why by Simon Sinek .
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Anywhere because I adore travel but I have been dreaming of lunch in Paris lately.
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
I would not waste time trying to understand why anyone is a mean human being. They just are and pondering it over will not change them into being nice people.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
I have met many famous people but in all seriousness…. you!
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
I was bullied as a child for years for no reason other than I was the new kid in school in the second grade. It had an impact on my whole life. I was stuck in a situation I couldn’t resolve no matter what I did. I was lonely and just wanted to be accepted. I used to pray and beg God for a friend. I moved around lot after that because of my dad transferring jobs to better our family. So I can say without a doubt that I hate and struggle the most with mean people who have no empathy for others, people you cannot reason with and confrontation. The good thing today is that I know many people, feel very connected and accepted. My other issue is with all the people in my life who want my time but I don’t have enough time or more of me to fit it all in everyday. I stay really busy with my business, my family (I have a handicapped child) and am really social. My relationships are important to me. I hate it when someone is hurt when I travel to their area and don’t have enough time to stop and visit. It hurts me that they are hurt. I know my purpose in life is to help others so sometimes I give too much of myself. I have to avoid toxic people who are demanding.
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
I am married with 3 children and 1 grandchild. Paul is my oldest and is handicapped. He is still at home and happy. Taylor is in the air force and my daughter just graduated high school and is now on her next adventure. My juggling act is trying to manage full time care of my son and balancing my business.
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
I am a creator and so I am inspired by many things not just people! Just think ooo shiny! The rain, the smell of wet concrete or fresh cut grass makes me happy and my mind starts spinning. My clients are amazing! I am a people watcher where anyone being kind to anyone makes me happy and I feel inspired. I love watching people laugh. Give me a pallet of fresh paint and a canvas and I will play all day just from the paints. My children and their fresh ideas inspire me.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?
Dig deep and really think about who you are and what you want….. What makes you happy? What drives you? If there is something you want to do go do it! Live life to the fullest! Literally suck the marrow out of life. Don’t stay in a stagnant job that you feel unfulfilled…. find a new one. Know what inspires you and Be inspired! Live and inspired life! Be happy! Find your happy places and things no matter how small they are. When I felt like I was imprisoned by bullies and there was nothing I could do the only thing I had at that time was my imagination to escape into. I looked at the smallest thing around me to find some sort of joy. After all this and being a caregiver I can say I’m alive and well with use of my arms, legs, all my senses and I’m not going to waste a single moment nor should you.