I wrote this bio for my Business of Photography course. It's not fantastic, but it'll do for now.
Cecil, Pennsylvania. Ever heard of it? Probably not. Well, that’s where I’m from. Born and raised down the street 5 minutes from cows and 20 minutes from the big city that is Pittsburgh. I’d like to believe that I got the best of both worlds this way, but in reality, I spent more time running barefoot through the grass than I did pounding pavement. Growing up, my time was spent either running liking a maniac outside or doing some sort of arts and crafts. I like to think that my mother’s obsession with crafts is what brought me to where I am today
From the time we could hold a crayon, my mom encouraged my sisters and I to draw, color, paint, mash-up, mix, blend, and sculpt whatever we could imagine. So we did. As a result we have a few boxes of finger paintings and clay cats with 3-legs and 3 sisters with no talents but getting paint everywhere but on the paper. Just kidding. But really, I believe that this is where I got my start. When I was younger, other than art, I was really into the sciences. Bugs, astronomy, mixing random plants in a bucket of water with a stick, whatever experiments I could dream up. Until middle school I figured I’d do something with that. Middle school was where I started realizing that I enjoyed art.. In High school, I took every single art class offered. I was fantastic at drawing. Like modern day Da Vinci. Again, I’m kidding. The classes were mostly the fine and traditional arts. This posed a problem for me because although I can sit down and think of a million brilliant ideas and visuals in my head, I lack the skills to actually create them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a decent artist, I can draw pretty well, but it takes me a year and a day to create a 3inch by 3inch drawing of a turtle. What I like to call my Creative ADD kicked in and I started needing something other than pencil and paper to recreate the beauty and horror I saw in my head.
I have always been advanced with computers. I taught myself Photoshop and HTML when I was still in elementary school, because my Neopets user lookup was too boring for my tastes. When my dad brought home a decent Nikon Coolpix 5700 from the local flea market, Trader Jacks, I started taking photos and Photoshopping the heck out them. To this day, I still can’t believe the decent shots I got with that 15 dollar investment. Between taking pictures and the Photoshop make-overs, I started making my idea’s real. In high school, I got a Merit Award in the Scholastic Art competition for a photograph of myself, taken in a mirror, photoshopped with wings on my back into a grey field. I was pretty proud of myself. At the same time that all of this was going on, I was going through the awkward emo/goth/punk phase. I don’t dress so crazy anymore but I still love the music. With my Nikon and basic point-and-shoot camera I started taking photographs at these shows. I got myself a subscription to Alternative Press Magazine and the dream was born. Since then, I have wanted to photograph live music. It might sound crazy, but live performers have an energy that is very hard to capture. Rock stars are wild, screaming jumping animals, and they are such a challenge to photograph.
Nowadays, I still want to photograph live music, but also promotional shots for music artists. The avid Photoshopper in me makes me want to do album and web design as well. In 5 years, I could see myself happily dragging myself into pits hundreds of sweaty, screaming, pre-teens, if it meant I’d get that one perfect photo of the one magic moment at the concert. This probably means moving, since Pittsburgh isn’t exactly the rock music capital of the world. So I’ll hopefully be dragging myself into those pits on the outskirts of smoggy, burn-out-movie-star ridden Los Angeles, making a decent living off photos of sweaty boys in skinny jeans and leather jackets. Maybe not your ideal life, but it sounds just fine to me.