I fell in love with photography when I was 15. I borrowed my mom’s old 35mm Minolta before we set out on a road trip back to the Midwest. I wandered around snapping photos of everything that I saw. But it wasn’t until I got the photos developed that I knew I was done for. That first photo took my breath away. It was a sunburst on black and white film of the light coming through the trees. And it was everything to me.
I spent the next several years taking photos on that Minolta and my first camera, a Nikon N2000. I had my own in-home dark room where I developed and processed my own film and prints. I’m young enough that digital cameras were already wide-spread at this time, but it felt important to learn the photography process the old fashioned way.
Photography and I parted ways for a few years while I fell in love with words. My background is in creative writing. I’ve been many things: a journalist, a novelist, a poet, and a technical writer.
On a solo trip to the Shetland Islands (200 miles north of mainland Scotland) I fell in love with photography once again. It felt like fate. I had just bought a nice, used Nikon D40 camera with no idea how to use it. But I carted that camera everywhere I went and captured the beauty of the islands. It came as no real surprise when a local pointed out to me that the pattern on my camera strap–the one I had saved up for when I was 16–was a specific Shetland pattern. Two things were certain after this: 1.) I was destined to go there, and 2.) I was destined to go into photography.
I came back from Shetland and everything just fell into place. I upgraded to a Nikon D7000 in 2012 and will be upgrading again soon! I’ve worked really hard to build up my hobby into a full-blown business. I feel so grateful for all of my clients who have supported me on this journey.
I’ve taken a lot of detours in my life, but finally found a way to tell my story (and yours!) through photos.
I named my business Open Road Photographer because of my love of Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of the Open Road.”