When was the last time you held a photo of yourself you absolutely loved?
Girlfriend, I get you.
We, as women, all want the same thing: to look and feel like a million bucks, and I have to ask you, when was the last time you held a photo of yourself you absolutely loved?
Everyone who hires me leaves my beautiful Northern Virginia studio with a huge confidence boost that doesn’t just vanish the next day or in a couple of weeks, because you will be able to pull your photos out whenever you want to see what a sexy bitch you are.
I often am asked how I got started in boudoir and in photography.
The answer is complicated and a bit long. I have always been an artist, I think it is something deep within my soul. From my earliest days in preschool, I could be found with a pencil or crayon and some paper, drawing things I saw (I was very obsessed with drawing horses, which lasted into my late teens).
In high school, Art and Ceramics were my favorite classes (and psychology… more on that later). I was pretty decent at drawing but I was awful at ceramics! Still, I loved it, it was therapeutic in a way. I drew a LOT of naked fairies… some of that work still hangs in friends’ homes today.
In college, I first majored in Psychology, but quickly found that my interest in the subject at the college level wasn’t enough to keep me in the program – and I was not following the path that talent had already laid for me. So after just one semester, I switched to double-major in Fine Arts, with a heavy focus on studio and figure drawing, and Graphic Design.
A lot of people comment on my composition and attention to details, such as light and shadow and the way it affects photographs. Truth be told, these are skills I honed during drawing class in art school and they are the reason my work looks like it does today.
Very ironically, I absolutely hated photography in college, and I would often turn my nose up at it as “easy” art. Trust me when I say, there is nothing easy about photography; I was just being lazy because I hated developing my own film by hand! Hahahaha!
So how did that translate into a photography business?
Well, I’ve always had a camera in hand. In fact, my very first camera was given to me by my dad when I was just 8 years old. It was a hot pink Concord camera, the kind that took the 110 film that looked like a parentheses and you had to wind it up for the flash to fire. As a child of the 90s, I took a LOT of photos of everything I saw. I still have most of them boxed away!
When I was 18, my stepdad was diagnosed with stage 4b lung cancer, the very worst stage you can be diagnosed with. I spent all of my college years living at home and commuting to school, plus learning how to inject medicine into a PICC line, occasionally taking him to the hospital for oncology visits when my mom couldn’t, etc. He passed away after a four-year battle in February of 2003. To put it simply, this experience devastated me. It was then that I set down all my pencils, my camera, anything remotely resembling art. And I didn’t touch it again for over ten years.
In the fall of 2015, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I flew down to Florida to visit with him post-op and I took my little starter camera with me, because I had a very slowly increasing interest in photography again. My dad is also a photographer and he used to dream about opening his own studio and photographing fashion. It was on that trip, during a sunset “expedition” to the local marina when the sun spun amazingly beautiful colors in the sky, and I watched my dad appreciating that sunset, that a literal fire was born in me. Suddenly, I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, and it all snowballed from there. In 2016, I legally opened my business and in 2017, I decided my heart belonged in boudoir, helping women realize they are beautiful NO. MATTER. WHAT.
Some facts about me
I turned 40 in January 2020.
Ravenclaw (with some Slytherin tendencies).
My best friend has been my bestie since 1992.
I am a domestic violence and abuse survivor and thriver. I gained my freedom in 2009. I say thriver because not only did I survive, but I turned it into something I use to connect with and help others.
I am married to one of the guys who saved my life by helping me move out of my abuser’s home. How’s that for romance?!
I have two bonus children through my husband, the boys are 24 and 15.
I was born and raised in Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I have lived in six states: Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Michigan, and Maryland. But I’ve spent a cumulative 30 years in Virginia.
I collect old cameras. I currently have a 1940’s Crown Graflex, a 1970s twin-lens Mamiya C330, and several others that are probably close to a century old by now.
I am a hockey fan (#ALLCAPS!) and a basketball fan (go Pistons!).
I am competitive af. Don’t play board games with me – ever.