Finding a way back to my first love…

I’ve always loved to take pictures. I was introduced to a camera at age 8 when my parents got me a Kodak Disc. At 16, working my first job at Kmart, I used my very own money to put an Olympus camera on layaway.

The love of the camera seemed so natural to me, I actually considered photography as my career. I enrolled in classes at Point Park, but I dropped out before I started. My gut pulled me in another direction and I ended up at Pittsburgh Technical Institute for Graphic Design.

But my interest in photography continued, so I kept upgrading my camera equipment, going next to a Kodak Advantix, then beyond the film point-and-shoots to a digital Fuji FinePix, and finally to the Nikon that I shoot with today.

I began experimenting and applying some of the skills I picked up in the Hobby Photo class I took in my senior year of high school. Couple that with great tips from my Dad, a long-time amateur photographer, and the ability to now shoot digitally, I continued to document all the wonderful experiences life offers.

30 years after that first camera…

In my job as a designer, photography started to creep in more and more. In 2013, while creating brochures and websites for various clients, I realized the need for great on-location photos. And since I had the skills, my clients could hire me as a one-stop shop.

From one of my first property photography shoots. Centre Ave Massage and Spa, 2013.

When I began to phase out web design from my services in 2015, photography became the answer to the income gap.

Having a general love of architecture, houses and interior design, I began reaching out to real estate agents to photograph houses for their listings. I bought a super-wide angle lens, studied all the best practices for real estate photography, took a Photography 101 class at CCAC to sharpen my basic skills, and practiced by shooting my own house.

Practice run for real estate photography, 2015.

As corny as it sounds, I had to get behind the lens in order to see my career path clearly again. It became obvious that property photography would be a great compliment to the print design services I was offering.

In the past 2 years, I’ve photographed nearly 50 homes, ranging from city condos to high-end plan houses.

Penn Rose Building, South Side, 2018
Real estate listing, 2016
Real estate listing, 2016

I continue to shoot for clients too, with projects including all of the guest rooms at Buhl Mansion and Tara – A Country Inn, and a range of businesses for the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, including offices and industrial facilities.

Guestroom at Tara – A Country Inn, 2016
Office building in New Castle, 2016
Office building in New Castle, 2016

I also shoot at The Winner Department store in Sharon, PA eight times a year, capturing all of their creative window displays, merchandise collections, and wide selection of fashions.

The Winner Department Store window display, 2017
Bridal gown at The Winner Department Store, 2016

As a graphic designer, I know how these photos will be used in marketing, so when I’m shooting, I’m already thinking about the life they’ll have once they are out of my camera. From real estate agents trying to demonstrate the flow of a house on the MLS to B&Bs wanting to showcase their luxurious accommodations, my goal is to capture all the best angles of a property to get the marketing message across. And as a life-long shutterbug, a day spent shooting never seems like a day of work at all.

If your business is in need of a photo refresh for your website, social media, next brochure or even billboard, let’s chat!

Real estate listing, 2016
Real estate listing, 2017
Rooftop deck at Penn Rose Building, 2018
Clarion River Suites, 2014
Guestroom at Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa, 2016
Manufacturing in New Castle, 2016
Manufacturing in New Castle, 2016
Merchandise at The Winner Department Store, 2017