Though I do not consider myself a photographer, I credit photography with being an incredible influence and creating the path that led me to my career as a designer.
Growing up, I never went a year in school without an art class. I was never the best at drawing, painting, etc, but the thought of not being able to escape to the art room at least once a day was unfathomable to me. During high school, around that frightening time when people start asking you about your future plans, I knew that art was incredibly important to me but I struggled with how to incorporate that into my future. I was always a computer savvy kid, by the standards of computers at the time, but I didn’t realize that there was a way to combine my love for art with my affinity for computers.
During my sophomore year of high school, I took several photography classes that incorporated darkroom photography and digital photography. I loved every second of them and found myself feeling inspired to take photos beyond the call of duty. I spent every free second in the studio, and was actually good at what I was doing. I had found a type of art that I could excel at and be proud. It really opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities of the world of digital media.
My passion for photography throughout high school prompted me to enter college as a photography major. When I started to discover all the new career possibilities that I didn’t know about beforehand, I shifted my path. With the skills that photography had provided me, I felt well-equipped to begin my design career instead.
I feel that having a creative eye transcends all types of design. Being able to look at a subject and frame an aesthetically interesting shot directly correlates with the ability to construct an effective layout in design, for example. I have always had a creative eye that has been strengthened by my experience over the years. I credit the development of my skills with my early experience with photography. I will always be fascinated by photography and I hope to continue to learn to be a better photographer moving forward.
Photography intrigues me because of its incomparable ability to transform seemingly ordinary, and even potentially unappealing subjects into beautiful pieces of art that are compelling and evoke emotion. We are able to discover so many new perspectives through the lens that we may not have ever considered.
Below are a few collections of my photography that represent an evolution of my skills over the years. I find myself drawn to timelessness created by black and white, high contrast photography. I am inspired by cityscapes, vibrant color, architecture and the combination of natural and manmade elements.
Buffalo is a place that has been forgotten in the past. Through the association of abandonment and desolation, people are quick to discount our city. But these associations no longer define us and those of us lucky enough to call it home are witnessing a renaissance.
The rich history from Buffalo’s golden age has caused beautiful treasures to remain and endure the years of hardship. These timeless beauties continue to inspire those in the community to work hard to revitalize a city that was once one of the world’s greatest. In the past few years, efforts have been made to attract people to Buffalo. Everyday, there is a new project to restore the city to its glory or create something new and exciting. Beauty exists in so many forms here, among both the new and the old. Buffalo is no longer a place that people forget about, in fact, it is a place that a lot of people are talking about. People are starting to realize how good life can be in Buffalo and choosing to put roots down in the Queen City rather than other competing cities, like New York.
Buffalo is a place that I will never get tired of exploring. Every day I happen upon an undiscovered treasure that the city has to offer. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to witness so much progress in a few short years and the future holds infinite possibilities that I cannot wait to be a part of. As a person that used to see her future as anywhere but here, I am proud to admit that Buffalo has completely changed my views and has now become the place where I know I will always want to be.
Too often we find ourselves consumed by the stressful, hectic nature of our lives. Work, deadlines, money and all of life’s “What ifs?” consume our minds. We forget that once we were small children that saw all of the possibility and wonder in the world. Life was a beautiful adventure full of endless possibilities ahead. Though, children may have it harder than we do. Their main concern is learning the very fundamentals of life including reading, writing, math, etc,. Somehow, while faced with such monumentally important tasks, they are able to experience pure joy from simple things and remain infinitely optimistic and full of imagination.
It is our job as adults to embrace them, encourage them and do everything in our power to help children grow. This is especially true for teachers. They are essential in a child’s development and immeasurably influential. I had the privilege of playing a small role in a group of children’s lives for a few weeks. This series of photos was taken alongside service work in a special education classroom in Hillview Elementary School in Lancaster, NY. There, I was able to interact with the children, assist the teacher in her tremendous job and experience the mindset that these children possess. In a time in my life when stress was all consuming, it was so refreshing to see the world through a child’s beautiful, optimistic eyes.
Beauty comes in so many forms and is defined differently based on each person’s unique perspective. Photography presents an opportunity to derive beauty from subjects that are typically considered ordinary, unappealing or even ugly. Given the right perspective, they can be transformed into something interesting, compelling and beautiful. Through intentional positioning of the camera, seemingly ordinary subjects can become provocative and interesting. A photo of a weed growing through a sidewalk crack, that will go unnoticed and probably gets stepped on several times a day can become a metaphor for rising above adversity in the world. A dilapidated hut that is one strong wind gust away from being destroyed is probably considered an eyesore and hazard to the owner of property, however it becomes a beautiful juxtaposed composition with the organic nature surrounding it. Whether creating a new perspective or deeper meaning, viewers are forced to stop and think about these ordinary, unappealing subjects that they would typically ignore and overlook.