Who are you and what do you do? I am the owner of Nature’s Child Photography, and I “catch” all those special moments you just don’t want to lose with the passing of time.
Why do you do what you do? I’m a firm believer in memories. But, we’re human. Our minds play with us. We forget, until there’s a trigger that’s pulled. A smell, a taste, a simple photograph found in an old attic box, or hopefully, an album. Sitting on the couch with your kids, your parents, your loved ones, pouring over the images, telling stories of way back when…THAT’S why. Family connections rule.
How do you work? I’m pretty goofy, and I know it. I can be serious when the moment has to happen, and I’m always professional when it boils down, but the best smiles come from real laughter…and if I have to stand on my head to get that, I will!
What’s your background? I come from a pretty artsy family. Mom and dad were hands on artists with wood, glass, fabrics, you name it, they created it. It seems like I’ve always had a camera in my hands from the day I could afford one. I took a few classes back in college (film days, so I’m totally dating myself!), and have just been on a “roll” ever since…lol, pun intended. You’re welcome. (oh, photographer humor).
What has been a seminal experience? I decided to make this a business after my mom passed. I suppose the “wake up” moment (where I made a push to have others in front of the camera, AND myself) was going through my mom’s picture box…and there were barely any of her. She never let herself be on camera. You know the drill...”when I’m less heavy”, “when I’m wearing something nice”, “when my hair is done”. Here’s a secret from someone who’s lost someone…those left behind don’t care if you’re having a “fat” day, or if there’s a hair out of place. Take that photograph and embrace it for who you are. You’re you, and you’re beautiful.
Explain what you do in 100 words: I guess, in essence, I TRY to (and hopefully succeed) capture who you are, what you’re about, and the memory behind the image taken to the best of my ability. I want you to be on that couch, 40 years from now, laughing about the time Uncle Jimmy passed gas during the wedding party photo, or even tearing up about the last birthday party had for Aunt Marge. Memories matter, and I want to capture them for you.
How has your practice changed over time: Photography is an evolution as all art is. I started with shooting EVERYTHING, and well…I still shoot everything, don’t I? But I’m better than when I started. :D
What work do you most enjoying doing? I LOVE birth photography. LOVE IT. To see the emotions flying during the eons of waiting in the hospital room from mom, dad, nurses, doctors…and then the moment of birth. BEAUTIFUL, and to be there DURING a new life entering the world? Chokes me up every time. When mom gets to hold that baby the first time? When dad cuts the cord? THOSE are priceless times you NEVER want to forget.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? I grew up on a farm with 5 brothers and sisters, so SO MANY MEMORIES! My mom having bread rise on the wood stove, helping daddy by taking off those durn potato bugs in the garden, swimming in the creek, summers at my grandma’s farm…good stuff.
What’s your scariest experience? I would say it was while I was shooting at a beautiful swampy pond. I heard an alligator hiss, so I stepped back…right onto a limb going across the path. I rolled my ankle and CRACKED MY CAMERA LENS (yes, that was worse than the ankle roll).
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? I taught preschool for umpteen years, directed and managed a preschool summer camp for same amount of years, and was in the Air Force as well.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? I watched a photo video I had made of a birth story with the parents. We all held hands, cried, and hugged it out. It was a beautiful, wonderful, real moment that I will hold FOREVER.
What food/song/drink inspire you? COFFEE. ALL OF THE COFFEE.
What do you like about your work? Pretty much EVERYTHING. I love meeting new people, making the new friends that actually winds up happening, the locations I get to go, the events and celebrations taking place, the memories you see happening right in front of you, and knowing you get to be the one helping them remember it for the rest of their lives. Yup, I kind of have the perfect job.
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St. Johns Magazine