Right before the summer of 7th grade, I came to the realization that I wanted to be a photographer. But not just any photographer, I wanted to be a fashion photographer! I set my eyes on applying to Art and Design, a specialized High School for students to learn visual arts, located on 2nd Avenue in New York City and  I spent that entire summer working hard on building my portfolio and teaching myself the basics of using different mediums for art. Up until that point, I didn’t have an inkling of artistic ability or creativity within me, or so I thought. But my desire to be a photographer proved to be all the motivation that I needed.

I remember watching episode after episode of Bob Ross on PBS which taught me how to paint. Listening to him talk about “happy little trees” and his constant reassurance of not making mistakes, but happy little accidents were all the encouragement I needed to help me find my legs as an artist.  Of course this was all pre streaming anything days, so you could only imagine the amount of dedication it took for me as a 12-year-old girl to look up all the episodes details in the TV Guide (remember those?) and to make sure that my butt was planted in front of the television to watch when it aired. Instead of enjoying my summer outside playing with friends, I gathered books which taught me how to sketch and draw and I soaked up any bit of information that I could possibly get my hands on.

It was the summer that my creative obsession was born and I had one goal in mind – to have a comprehensive portfolio ready for submission along with my entrance exam.

I had no clue that photography would’ve made such an impact in my life, shifting it entirely. It’s been one hell of a ride but the journey has been so well worth it. I’ve had the honor of being apart of some of the most intimate parts of peoples lives and I feel blessed that I’m able to make an impact by helping them tell their stories.