I am an LA based Photographer and Artist. I was born in Chicago my little hometown,
but I made a 3 year plan to live in NY and LA for a year each and just pick one. So here I am!
Where do you call home?
For now, its California. I have grown into this wild city and appreciate its energy and constant. Opportunities, nature and energy.
Are you self taught or schooled?
Self taught. My Mother was an Artist so I think I got it from her. I always was creating as a kid. Making my own clothes, painting, taking pictures it was all normal for me to do all or it least it felt that way.
When did you start painting?
I started painting as a kid. I remember me and my siblings would all win Art Contests in school every year. I just kept to it and it grew beyond anything I ever imagined. In 2015 Saatchi Art Reached out to me and wanted to feature me as an Artist on their site. I was honored. I was featured several years in a row. I also sold my Joker painting to the Director. His film really inspired me to paint and he now owns that painting and its hanging up in his office, I love when Art comes full circle like that.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My Inso comes from so many elements. It comes from watching a documentary about a famous singer to standing on the beach feeling the breeze and sun. It can come from hard times and experiences to great times in my life. I am this person who creates on multiple levels. Its an odd thing really.
What kind of colors and techniques are you using?
Right now in my Art I really perfected this layering technique. I incorporate pictures I like of a person and I sketch it out and then layer the canvas to achieve this sort of Photo quality, this aged film to my Art.
How did you get into photography?
I just started shooting. But I can tell you I am a Marketing queen in the best way I know. I have many who surpass me in Marketing but I learned to just let people into your story. So once I showed myself painting for shooting, people came. They love to share it with you.
How long have you been a photographer?
Professionally for at least 13 years. I shot for a few companies in Chicago all the way through to LA.
As you look through the viewfinder, what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?
I believe its the moment the energy between the Photographer and the subject meet. I am all about energy with people. Once they let you in, its magic.
How would you describe your style?
My Photography style is a bit raw, edgy and its full of strength. Its hard to say its a specific style to me I am sure others describe it a certain way but I can’t say I would label it.
What do you think makes a truly memorable photo?
So many things… The lighting, the subject, the mood the composition. When all of the elements come together the end result it magic. I love the voyeuristic shots as well. I love to be a fly on the wall. The gift of getting to be in that shared moment is so great.
We know that each of us has someone or something, which inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
I almost can’t fight it, its the way I see things and experience them. I am inspired daily because I feel like the gift I have in me, how I see things and the way I take moments and add my own personal color or style, thats the inspiration for me. Everyday is a gift just knowing that and being able to create in it, thats what inspires me.
What does fashion mean to you?
Everything! I use to buy clothes and cut them up and make it into something I liked. I had a whole backless dress idea going at age 15. I love to look good fashion can really pull together the simplest of things.
What’s the craziest/funniest thing that ever happened in one of your shoots?
I have been known to break into private property and shoots. If I have a vision I want to get it. I did once break into an empty mall that had the ceiling blown out and me and the model broke in.
We slid under the fence in the dirt and started to crawl on our bellies, floor by floor as the security guy
Drove around patrolling the mall. It was empty but the thought of getting that shot in a roofless mall
With a model in a outfit, was priceless.
What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?
I saw a book by Sante Dorazio when I was younger it was this perfect coffee table book that inspired me greatly. I love Helmet Newton and Annie Leibovitz. Whats funny is when I lived in NYC, I worked for Annie and met Sante.
What has been your favorite photo location or session?
I loved shooting in nature. I loved shooting in a rock park but was chased by security for shooting nude. Once they found me I denied it, but that was once of my favorites. Shooting in nature is always a favorite. I just connect to it so much.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 5d
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
My lens now is pretty good but I always want more or bigger, better. My favorite lens is yet to be found because I want it to do it all.
What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
The person I am going to shoot. They are essential for me to create and I consider them a big part of it.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Not much… I know I need to use it but I really enjoy getting to capture things as they are. I do like to soften images or smooth a tiny as this is not a world that is photoshopless as we all know. But I try to keep it real.
How important is a website and social media for your business?
Social Media to me is everything. If it wasn’t for Facebook I may not have my Art Internationally. Its my business card and a private invitation to my work. Its like entering in my studio. I hate to play the game honestly of Likes and Followers its not my jam but I realize the importance to it. I am working on a book due to client demand, but its really made me a name in my field.
Do you play music whilst shooting? If so, what are you playing right now?
Oh I love music and its part of what I do. I always have music on when I paint not when I shoot. When I shoot its usually outside but the reason I don’t is because the subject usually feels something from each song and eventually the song ends. They tap into the mood the song creates for me and at times it can ruin my flow so I leave it out. As for painting, I love listening to music and I can tell you
Every song I had on with each painting I have done. I listen to DMYK which is this collection of amazing music. Its my fav.
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
Big question… I would say never compromise or don’t do it on a grand scale. Always stay true to you
Even at times you feel empty about it. Keep moving and creating even when no one is watching. Don’t pay attention to others and what they do, do you. Use social media and marketing yourself. Don’t get a big head. ever.
What lies ahead for you?
A book hopefully I woulds love it and its in the works right now or shooting for a big Magazine. Eventually doing videos as I have started now very small. Creating content with videos, telling grander stories with my work.