Whether I’m looking down the barrel of a gun or through the view finder of my camera, I’m focusing in on the perfect shot: an animal or an image. At the young age of 12, I discovered the art of hunting; the art of patience, the art of precision and the art of detail. It was during my freshman year of high school that the art of photography was brought to my attention. The special bond that these two things hold in my heart have lead me to where I am today.

When I was younger, it was a tradition to get my picture taken with the deer my dad brought home that day. As I grew older, my interest in hunting grew as well as the bond with my father. I would be up bright and early ready to make the long trek up the hills of Hopewell to our spots, to take a seat and watch the warm sunrise on a chilled morning. We began hunting as a way to spend time together, waiting patiently in weather less than ideal. Bundled in layers, I rest my gun in my lap anxiously awaiting the sight of a deer. As I look through the crosshairs, focusing in on my target, a deer comes into frame. Hand steady, breathing controlled, I pull the trigger…

The camera shutter snaps. I have captured the perfect image.

It all started with the perfect image at my neighbor’s wedding. As a bridesmaid, I was able to have firsthand experience dealing with a professional photographer. I watched as she posed, positioned and instructed the bridal party for a timeless photograph. I became intrigued with the art of photography and quickly realized my passion laid behind the camera. Wanting to develop this skill; hours of research and careful thought led me to Point Park University.

I am currently working towards obtaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography. I am also minoring in entrepreneurship to learn the skills needed to run my own business. Some photography based courses I have taken include history of photography, black and white film, digital photography and digital photo editing classes. The black and white film photography classes have helped me technically, learning the correct exposure for my photographs. To supplement my photography skills, I have taken business classes that will aid me in the development of my already existing business. I learned how to manage contracts, properly market myself and learn the costs of doing business. My personal preference is to shoot digitally and after taking classes my skills have become more advanced.

 I started my own business up during the early months of 2014. The spring months kept me busy with families wanting to get pictures taken to decorate their walls. Summer rolled around along with high school seniors. Every weekend I was out shooting. For one brief moment, I have the chance to capture the essence of a fellow human being in a portrait.

For the future I plan on continuing with portraits of seniors and families, but right now my main concentration is on fine art portraits. Inspiration is everywhere and I try to see it in all things. I am inspired by the things around me: nature, first and foremost, as a backdrop to my work. Certain themes, like life and death, rebirth, fairytales, capture my attention. My pictures will be in a square format rather than the typical 2:3 ratio. I want to keep my images on the dark side, letting viewer’s imagination run wild. Dark art is a relatively contemporary style often associated with the exploration of life, death and other contrasting elements. I will strive for detail in all of my photographs. I will use props such as fabric and clothes for the models to portray a concept or element. The human body is beautiful.