Frequently Asked Questions
How did you end up in photography?
I have always loved photography, ever since I laid hands on my first camera. I remember wandering around my backyard as a middle schooler, taking photos of anything and everything, playing around with my camera’s manual controls and loving every second of it.
Once I started taking self portraits, I knew I had found my purpose in life. However, I did not take a direct path from school straight into working as a photographer. It took many years, a couple of false starts, and a lot of telling myself that, despite the opinions of others, it actually is possible to be an environmental self portrait photographer and make a living, before I was ready to commit to photography full-time.
Now that I have decided to pursue this path, I can’t imagine anything more meaningful or worthy of my time.
What was your professional life like before you decided to commit to photography?
I studied hospitality management in college, and after I graduated I got a job as an event planning assistant at a catering company in the Washington, DC area. This was an excellent use of my type A organizational skills, visual creativity, and love of food, but after a few years I decided that the fast paced, high-stress environment was not for me. I had been feeling a growing interest in nutrition, and I had always wanted to live closer to the mountains, so I moved my partner (now my husband) and myself across the country to Seattle, WA and got my master’s in nutrition. After grad school I completed 1200 hours of supervised practice and became a registered dietitian.
My values as a dietitian are rooted in body inclusivity, Health at Every Size, and body trust. I am actually still working part-time for a nutrition private practice, where I support clients seeking eating disorder recovery, intuitive eating, body acceptance, and navigating food with ADHD.
The values I hold as a dietitian translate directly into my work as a photographer. Self portraiture has been a huge part of my own body acceptance journey, and I try to create for my photography clients with the same safe space that I provide for my nutrition clients.
How did you first get into self-portrait photography?
I have always been drawn to photography. After I got my first camera, a point-and-shoot I got in middle school, I went through a phase of never leaving home without my camera. In high school I took multiple photography classes, and it was during this time that I discovered the power of self-expression that was available to me through self portraits. I took my first self portrait in 2009, and I have been in love with the art ever since. As a person who has always identified as weird and awkward, self portraiture allows me the opportunity to express myself in my own way. It challenges me to get a little uncomfortable and, at the same time, gives me a safe space to be myself.
How do you take your self portraits?
First, I set my camera up on a tripod or other flat surface. Once I’ve framed up my photo, I set my camera’s interval timer to take photos every 1-2 seconds for as long as I want. I often shoot for 30-60 seconds at a time, review the photos on the back of my camera, and make any changes I feel are necessary to the photo composition before going out again for another round of shooting.
What gear do you use?
I recently upgraded to my first mirrorless camera, the Canon R6. As far as lenses go, I use the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 USM lens (and I love it!), and have a list of additional lenses on my wishlist.
Do you use AI in your photos?
No, I do not! All of my photos are 100% real. Traveling to beautiful, sometimes otherwordly locations is one of my favorite things about doing my type of photography. I do make adjustments to the colors and lighting in my photos, but I do all editing by hand and I never, never, use AI.
What programs do you use to edit your photos?
I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. On occasion, I also use Photoshop to do minor corrections such as removing distractions.