I was actually born in Rhode Island, but I have lived in the suburbs of Chicago since I was 4 years old. I mostly grew up in Schaumburg, but my adult life has primarily been in Bartlett. I went to Harper Community College right out of high school. While I always wanted to pursue Photography, I didn’t think I could make a career of it. I had my daughter very young, was married soon after, and then had three more children. Needless to say, a chance at a career was put on hold. I always did side photography work, though. I took portraits, worked in various studios and worked with wedding photographers part-time. It wasn’t long before I was shooting weddings on my own.
Once my children were no longer little, I decided it was my time to pursue the degree and career I always longed for. I earned my bachelor of fine arts in digital photography at the Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg in 2015. While in school, I realized my passion for commercial food and product photography, and that has been my specialization ever since. Now I’m a photographer for FYP, and I couldn’t be happier. I am thrilled every time I walk into work that I get to be creative and do what I love, not to mention the wonderful team of people I get to work with. I feel blessed to have been on this journey that led me where I am today.
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is not necessarily the angle at which I shoot my images as much as it is to lure the viewer to a certain focal point or product. I tend to use depth of field to guide the eye. I like to shoot and crop in close so that I am sure people see what I want them to focus on. I like to take snippets of a scene that I find interesting or beautiful to focus on. I like my images to be light, bright, simple and clean. In images where the mood is not light or bright, I make sure that the focal point is.
Describe your perfect Saturday?
My perfect Saturday would be touring a quaint town like Geneva or Galena, IL. I love exploring all the little shops. There is usually an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or fudge factory, boutiques and antique stores. Often times, there is a winery as well. On top of all that, I love to “people watch.” Seeing families and couples interacting and enjoying the day puts a smile on my face every time.
What’s your favorite FYP product?
My favorite FYP product would have to be our stir sticks. They are so versatile! They can be used for drinks, but also as an added personalization to cupcakes or party favors. They make awesome kabob sticks for donut holes or fruit as well. Not to mention they are fun to shoot! I love to be creative and stylize images with them. They add such a special touch to a party no matter how you use them.
Where do you get inspiration?
I often get my inspiration from parties or events I see and attend. I believe I see things a little differently than most. I am always thinking, “That would be a great shot.” I am usually referring to some small detail, such as the way a dessert is half eaten on a plate, or the way the light hits a flower. When shooting for work, I often recreate scenes to shoot from those inspirational moments.
If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
Actually, I think I would be a mutt. I tend to do things in my own way, and in backward order. Like a mutt, I march to my own beat. There are no expectations of how mutts should act because they are one of a kind. You never know what traits they have until you get to know them.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
My favorite travel destination is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It is so beautiful there. I love the pride the people have in their country. They seem so happy that you are there to experience their culture. The weather is lovely, and the beaches are amazing. I can’t wait to go back!
What’s your favorite Chicago restaurant?
My favorite Chicago Restaurant is Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse. They have the best steaks I’ve ever tasted. The atmosphere is truly romantic. Plus, they have ridiculous desserts—they have to be at least a foot tall! They are way too big for only two people to share, but they are fun, gorgeous and delicious. It’s a wonderful place to go for a special occasion.