A younger, fearless and confident version of myself stood in front of a camera for the first time, professionally, at the age of thirteen. Barbizon School of Modeling, (Where you can be a Model or just look like one) and boy did I! From runway shows to Miss Teen New York, winning beauty pageants and landing gigs as extras on popular TV series. The taste of the limelight was sweet. Life however, had other plans. I started college, a relationship and the demands that were asked of me from the path I was stepping into would put the stability of a relationship at risk. It was either one or the other, and I chose! I got the dream wedding that I have always wanted and I even got the staring role in my own movie called... life. After years of the "character development" I made decisions and lived through the consequences, both good and bad. I made friends along the way and lost some as well.
Years went by (as they often do) and that relationship I chose back then... Yeah.. well there was no happy ending to that story. As a result I had reached a point in my life where I suffered a great depression, part of which I'm utterly convinced had stemmed from the initial decision to not pursue that which made me happy... acting.. modeling.. being the "center of attention". I was faced with a bridge that I burned and no boat or life jacket to help me to get back to my dream, not to mention I couldn't even stay afloat let alone swim.
I had two options; one was to sit around and replay my miseries in my mind and the other was to stop looking back and move ahead. Naturally, I took the former, but only for a while. I mean after all, I owed it to myself, the last curtain call, if you will. Then, it dawned on me... I was directing the last couple of years of my life which replayed in my memory. What if... I took the same skill set and "directed" the CONTINUATION of my story. Revived my "Character" awakened a new purpose?
And...so I began to write (literally) I wrote Poetry and I kept it as a journal. and decided to publish it. I called it "A Walk Though Life" because for once, I stopped racing through and started welcoming every experience. Consequently ensuring that each time I "walked" away with a lesson. So it began, I completed college, started working, fell in love again, I received the best gift that life has given me. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter.
The moment I found out I was having her, I wanted to preserve the entire experience. I mentioned to my eldest sister that I wanted to start taking pictures and she bought me my first DSLR it was a Red Pentax. I started taking pictures of my growth each month and once the heartbeat kicked in (pun intended) I bought a fetal doppler and figured out that if I plugged in the doppler to the computer I would be able to actually record the heart beat and so I did. At my six month sonogram appointment I pulled out my phone and began videotaping my little miracle as she flipped and kicked inside of me. I was able to preserve a video of my daughter while she was inside of me ( which we both watch together every once in a while, whenever I need a reminder that miracles do exist).
Six months later, she was placed into my arms and since that day in one hand, I held her and in the other, I held my other "life" that was born... My love for preserving EVERY Moment with her. My love and admiration for the miracle of still photography... the ability to stop time and enjoy it.. to look back at the details that escape our memory and have the ability to relive the moment each time we look at a photograph. It really IS quite captivating when you think about it. Since then, a joy has filled my heart. My purpose became clear and my passion for being a mother has grown, together with my passion for preserving memories, and so I extended my new found purpose and thought what better way to help others than to capture the moments that would allow them to revisit the laughter and the joy, the glory, the confidence, youth and changes, wisdom, beauty and so much more that only a picture would allow us to revisit. It's my super power. I'm blessed to have found my passion and grateful that I am given the chance to do what I do ... the ability to mentally time travel! A power and passion that is fueled by ..LIFE ...and a Life which is in turn, fueled by such a powerful passion!
Thank you all for allowing me the honor!