Writing about yourself is one of the hardest things to do. So let’s see how this goes!
A little background
I was born and raised in the desert. Yes, it is hot and sometimes unbearable, but for the most part, I really love Arizona. Phoenix is where I grew up. It’s where my family lives — and family is one thing I hold near and dear to my heart.
I graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication, and shortly after earned a Master’s in health care innovation. This led me to my first “grown up” job working in public relations at Banner Health, a nonprofit health system based in Phoenix. I loved every minute of it.
In 2008, on a snowy April day in the Emerald City, Brandon and I got engaged just nine months after we began dating. I don’t ever remember saying “yes” to the surprise proposal, but, we did in fact become Mr. & Mrs. two years later. And I couldn’t ask for a better best friend & husband.
On March 17, 2011, our lives changed. We learned that Brandon had matched into residency in a city I’d never heard of until that day — Buffalo, NY. So we packed up our home, said goodbye to family and friends, and made the trek to the other coast (sort of).
I left the Corporate world and found an amazing job working at a small web development + internet marketing company. We build cool applications (mobile, too) and websites, then promote and market them. We bring our dogs to work. I like that.
How did you get started with photography?
I was fortunate enough to grow up with a very tech-y dad, who, at a very young age, put one of the first point-and-shoot digital cameras in my hand. In middle school, my cousin gave me a 35mm film camera that I used to shoot photos for the yearbook, so I guess one might say that I’ve had an interest in photography early on.
During my undergrad at ASU, I somehow landed a job as a photographer for the State Press Magazine. I had very little knowledge about how to use an SLR camera (I borrowed my dad’s Canon 20D at the time). I printed my “portfolio” prints at Walgreens and put them in a scrapbook 12×12 album. OH MY GOD, what was I thinking?
Yet, Deanna took a chance on me, and for that I am very grateful. Over the years, I continued to practice and learn more about shooting on manual mode, but still considered photography only as a hobby.
It wasn’t until I got engaged that I started to take photography a bit more seriously. While researching photographers for our wedding, I became obsessed with wedding photographers’ blogs. I still am.
With every wedding I saw, I felt a connection to the couple and the event — as if I was there. I studied the details, the light, the emotion. They photographed in a way that made everything look so simple. I wanted that.
So I practiced and practiced, and little by little continued to put more time and effort into this “hobby” that I enjoyed so much. I purchased my first prime lens, the 50mm 1.8 and learned about depth of field, shooting wide open, shooting in low light. I invested in a workshop. I borrowed friends to model for me; I shot family gatherings and birthdays.
Then a silent business investor (aka mom) bought me the 50mm 1.2 for Christmas, my birthday, etc. etc. I shot with that for a while on a Rebel T1i, but the more I shot, the more I wanted to upgrade to a full-frame sensor camera. And so, my husband bought me the 5D Mark II. I have the BEST support system. They believe in me.
So, why photography? Because I love to document. The older I get, the more I don’t want to forget the experiences that have made me who I am today. Big or small, I find happiness in making and capturing memories — and, knowing if there’s ever a day that I’m missing someone, that I need a smile or a laugh, I’ve got those stories tucked away.
You still want to know more?
I’m a home body. I prefer to stay home, lounge around in pajamas, eat ice cream and watch tv on the Internet in bed. I am most definitely a t-shirt, jeans and flip flops kind of girl. I’d rather have one great friend vs. 100 acquaintances.
I never thought I’d be typing this in a bio section, but I really like watching hockey — and I root for the Coyotes, obviously! I played high school golf. I’ve met Tiger Woods (don’t worry, it was pre scandal in 1997) and was on the front page of The Arizona Republic under former President Clinton’s inauguration story.
I love clean design, products and packaging. I purchase wine based on the label — so don’t ask me to bring wine to the party, unless you want wine product ;)
Things that make me smile
Moose — my baby dog who is 8.5 years old, part Norwich Terrier, part Jack Russell. Best dog ever that I rescued on a whim from the humane society in Tempe.
Where my AMEX card takes me most often:
- J. Crew
My favorite foods:
- Spicy tuna rolls
- Chips and salsa, or any other dip goodness
- French fries
- Buttered popcorn from the movie theatre
- My mom’s homemade cooking
- My grandma’s homemade pho
My favorite drinks:
- Arnold palmers with unsweetened ice tea
- Iced coffee with two raw sugars, a splash of cream and extra ice
My favorite colors:
- Mustard yellow