It all began with a Pentax K1000. I was a scruffy 15-year-old with an insatiable curiosity on the streets of NYC. And I had a great teacher named Benedict J. Fernandez.
I loved photographing people then. And now. Not only seeing with my camera, but listening with the fullness of my being to the stories people tell of their lives. The people I met were my books, full of stories that touched me deeply.
Learning about life in the first person.
Fast forward to a career in photojournalism, 20 wonderful years at the Hartford Courant, where I was paid to do what I love - make photographs. I traveled nationally and internationally for stories, but my deepest happiness came from wandering the streets and towns of CT in search of the extraordinary in the ordinary. I celebrated the people and places I found, capturing moments and events. Whether a gubernatorial inauguration or a first hair cut in a New Britain barbershop, prison overcrowding or a portrait of a philanthropist changing the lives of children in Hartford’s schools, each photograph - a sliver of time and place - is a preserved moment and memory that tell a story.
I won awards, but the greatest joy came from the respect and trust I earned with people in the community, who gave me the gift of sharing their lives with me. It was as if they were placing their beating heart in my hands, and I felt a responsibility to translate that into a dignified, authentic story.
Fast forward again. It’s 2008, the fall of print journalism. I took a buyout from the newspaper, and started my own business, dedicated to making the highest quality editorial images for clients who range from schools and colleges, non profits, Jewish organizations, and individuals/couples/family having life celebrations. I’m as passionate about education, especially urban education, as I am about documenting coming of age ceremonies. I love all-things-learning and I love ritual. Maybe it’s my inner teenager, tapping her feet on the dance floor, or just the fact that I love kids and young adults, but I bring a vision, a storytelling vision, that crosses genres. I can be celebrating a young girl, arms raised, lifted up on a chair above her family and friends dancing the hora, with the same passion and love I feel candidly documenting third graders hungry for learning to give an authentic feel for a school. It’s a vision thing, a passion for life as it’s lived.