you become a photographer?
I went to art school because I wanted to learn
how paint. Then later I thought that it might
be a lot easier to just take a photograph. Now
I combine the two. I am really a painter
at heart and even though my technique may first
be perceived as strictly reportage, I do skew
the viewers perception by "painting"
on the photos using light and shadow in post-production,
creating scenes that are at the same time real
Where are you from originally?
I'm originally from Columbus, Ohio.
Who were your main influences growing
My grandmother was a painter. When I was little
I would go over to her apartment and she would
set up an easel in her studio for
me to draw on right next to hers. She would
paint, and I would take my crayons and do these
abstract drawings that were kind of like a six
year old's version of cubism. We had a wonderful
time together and it was hugely influential
in me wanting to become an artist.
Later in life working at the Swanstock agency had
a huge influence on me. I was able to personally
work with a huge collection of current fine
art photography as well and the photo editors
and art directors who were selecting photography
for their projects and campaigns. I saw all
of the different work being created and how
it was being used which had a tremendous impact
on me and still does.
Did you go to art school/college for
photography or are you self-taught?
I received my BFA from the Columbus College
of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio in 1991.
I majored in both fine art and commercial photography
and minored in painting and illustration.
Any advice or tips to novice photographers?
Don't give up. Develop your own personal style
and a strong cohesive body of work. Find themes
that you love and that matter to you and explore
them. Have fun. If it's not fun, stop and
figure out how to make it fun.
What has been the most rewarding and
challenging project you have worked on?
I think every project is both equally challenging
and rewarding in it's own way. There is a certain
wonderful feeling that I get when I am creating
an image that I know I am going to love.
I can just feel it as I am making it and I find
the photos that come out of those events the
What is your favorite portfolio piece?
I can't say that I have a single favorite portfolio
image because all of my images are autobiographical
in one way or another. Each one is a page in
the journal of my life. My favorites being
the ones that evoke the most memories. For example,
I have a photo that I took one morning while
making french toast. I loved the way the bread
looked floating in the batter, so I ran and
got my camera. It's one of my favorites because
it reminds me of how spontaneous and
fun that morning was and how much I love
being at home with my husband and cats.
What American art or artist inspires
Carter continues to be an inspiration. Years
ago his book Mojo showed me that photos could
also be poems. And a couple of weeks ago I attended
a presentation that he gave at Center for Creative
Photography here in Tucson. Afterwards, I went
home and immediately ordered his equally inspirational
video which is available through Anthropy