- I received my first digital camera in 2003 for my birthday, a Canon PowerShot A60 point-and-shoot.
- My love for photography started when I used that digital camera while studying abroad. I was attending the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix for a semester.
- My poor Canon broke, as the lens would not retract and got stuck. Months later, my boyfriend (now husband) gave me a Fujifilm FinePix E550 point-and-shoot for Christmas.
- My Fuji got stolen, so I purchased my first DSLR in 2006, the Nikon D50 and Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-f/6.3 lens.
- From 2003 until 2012, I was only interested in landscape and architectural photography.
My Start as a “Professional Photographer”
- I’ve pawned my Nikon D50 many times. After getting it out of pawn and finding out the wheel to change the settings were broken, I had to get a new camera. In 2012, I ended up getting a Nikon D3000. Unfortunately, it did not autofocus with my Tamron 18-200, so I immediately also purchased a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens.
- My first subjects were my husband, friends, and family members. Because my husband was camera shy, I had to find other people to practice with.
- My first TFP (trade-for-print) shoot was for a model who was chosen to appear on a calendar for the lifestyle brand HauteButch. I did this shoot for her 2 years in a row.
- I would initially find models through Craig’s List and Model Mayhem.
- I started a 365 photography blog in September 2012 and finished in September 2013. After that achievement, I tried doing a 52-week project and then another 365 project for 2014-2015. Both were huge fails.
- My first official wedding was in 2014. Prior to that, I was only accepting post-ceremony wedding portraits.
- My first large wedding was in 2015. After that, I put myself out there as a wedding photographer, especially after purchasing a Nikon D750 full-frame.
- I’ve owned the Nikon D300 twice:
- In early 2015, I shot a paid boudoir party. My Nikon D7000 was malfunctioning during the party, so with the deposit I earned, I had to quickly take my “entry-level” Nikon D3000 out of the pawn shop and continued the shoot. Knowing that I needed a comparable body to my Nikon D7000 but couldn’t afford a second D7000 at the time, I bought the Nikon D300 on eBay. I then officially sold my D3000. Once I repaired my D7000 and got my D750, I sold my D300. In hindsight, that was a big mistake!
- In 2017, due to financial hardships, I had to sell my D7000, only having my D750. Later on that year, I ended up buying a D300 through OfferUp because I needed a second camera for a wedding. This camera was not in good shape as my first D300, but it still did its job!
- I would have continued to shoot with a crop-sensor camera if I wasn’t going into weddings.
- Despite trying different editing styles, like moody/muted edits or the ever-popular orange and teal look, I prefer bold and bright colors.
- I prefer to be a versatile photographer, trying to do well with both natural light and off-camera flash equally.
- I’ve been using Yongnuo speedlights since 2013. I have no desire to switch to Godox/Flashpoint.
- I have never shot at f/1.4 because I have never owned such a lens. Even with a f/1.8 lens, I hardly shoot at f/1.8, unless I’m in a low-lighting situation.
- My go-to lens from 2015 through 2020 was the 24-120 f/4 lens, which was the kit lens that came with my Nikon D750. I finally purchased a 24-70 f/2.8 lens in July 2020, so that is now my go-to lens.
- My work has been published in many magazines (e-magazines), but I still don’t call myself a “published photographer”. It doesn’t make sense to me for a “published photographer” to pay $25-$30 to get a printed copy of the magazine.
- I’m a firm believer that “it’s the person behind the camera”, not the gear itself. The most expensive, high-end gear can only help make your job easier, but you can still get great results with whatever gear you’ve got.
- The boudoir party I’ve shot in 2015 helped proved that theory. Even though I was shooting the party in the evening with no window light, my “entry-level” Nikon D3000 paired with OCF produced better results than my D7000, in my opinion. The colors were spot on and I only had to do minimal editing.