Over thirty years ago, I moved to Vermont in the throes of the hippies looking for an alternative way to live. While I began my work as a freelance photographer, I spent my nights in an unheated attic under an electric blanket while my dog wore my down vest at night. Though now my hair is shorter and I have an inside bathroom fully equipped with running water, I still have the same passion for what I do that I had when I first started taking photos.
With all the cutting edge technology that is available to me, I still remember my first camera.
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie…the one that used 120 B/W negative film, and you had to hold your breath and stand still while you clicked the shutter in order to have the photograph stay in focus!!! Our darkroom lacked a timer so my father taught me very accurate counting methods for developing and enlarging… “one one-thousand, two one-thousand,” etc. The “strobe” had flash bulbs you scratched on rough surfaces before use to guarantee a success in one out of four shots.
As for many of us, my interests go beyond my professional life. I spend my time within my community in Burlington, Vermont. I embrace the scenery around me as well as the people in my neighborhood. My personal interests also extend to the environment. I have a special passion for keeping our waters clean. After all, I am only three blocks away from Lake Champlain.
In addition, I commend the discovery of new things. Recently, I have been following the growing trends of becoming green in architecture and interior design. I love the idea of an eco-friendly no-carbon footprint home where recycled items are re-purposed.
With each day that I am able to do what I love, I thank all of those who have made my journey possible.
How I Work
With over 40 years of being a freelance photographer, and working now, solely in digital images, I have decided instead of spending eons of time on location, and dragging a truck around to carry all of my lights, and hire assistants to help, I have reverted back to my days as a photojournalist, carrying very little, using available light, or deleting it, as I can with black and white cloths, or time of day, and spending less time on location, thus decreasing costs of everyone else on the job, but mine. I then spend that deleted time on location, behind the scenes, working in Photoshop, “adding lights” color, contrasts, window views, color back into lamps and chandeliers, and subtracting light, to make the scene the way I would have done had I dragged all of these lights.
The time I spend on location is about 25% of the total time needed to complete a job. I always scout a job, and I ask my client to have the images ready to go when I arrive with props in place, grass cut, flowers weeded, makeup on, etc. This way, I can spend time shooting, and not cleaning up the location.
Digital allows me to finally get each image just the way I want, without dragging tons of heavy equipment around, which I hated.
My clients are very happy to spend less time on location. When I dragged lights in I would get 2-4 interiors finished in a day. It usually took a full week to photograph one house. Now it is 1/2 day to 2 days. Scouting is a very important part of the equation.
As I work on a shot on the computer, I think about it, I rework it, I sometimes start over. I try to keep it fresh and light.
I know how I want the image to feel when I shoot it, based on my discussions with my client and my own thoughts. I take the images I want to get there, and then wave my magic wand in Photoshop….and sometime it works right away.
Before and After
“With years of Photoshop, I can weave my images together to give you the very best final image you can want!”
When working on a photoshoot, I take into account every aspect that is needed to achieve the perfect shot. I will style a room and stage it to achieve that perfect setting, but that is not all I bring to a job. I have years of Photoshop experience that allows me to enhance any image to bring out the best features of a room, exterior, or landscape.
Here is an example of how I have created the perfect image.