“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
In preparing for an upcoming class, I was asked to create a photograph to show who I am. It did not take long to decide what I needed to show.
I am a teacher.
In many ways, this year has been like the early days of my teaching in the public school systems of the Carolinas. Early in my teaching career, I had the freedom and flexibility to design lessons I would teach each day. I spent hours upon hours enthusiastically finding resources and preparing materials for my instructional planning. I loved the creativity involved in preparing lessons to best reach and engage my students.
As time passed, that freedom to plan for my students was replaced by curriculums that had to be followed with fidelity. Decisions regarding what I taught and when I taught were no longer mine.
Luckily, about the same time this began occurring, I found photography. Since I was no longer free to use my creativity at school, I found a way to continue to live a creative life. The camera was a lifeline for me during those years.
2023 was the first year I had the opportunity to devote my energy full-time to being a photography educator. I have absolutely loved every second. I eat, drink, sleep, and dream about photography.
When I am not teaching, I gather resources, read, and prepare lessons and presentations to share with my students and participants. I am also working on my personal project work.
In 2023, I devoted time to two main personal photography projects. These projects keep me intrigued and exploring.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every second spent planning educational experiences for individuals and groups. It is very important that I present things that are uniquely me rather than just offering things that are already being done. I want to share the best I have in my teaching while creating a community with the people with whom I work.
I am so thankful to each participant and client who worked with me in 2023. You added joy to my year. Bonds created with students while teaching are precious!
I am also so grateful for the organizations, businesses, and individuals who believed in me in my first year as a full-time professional photography educator and helped make it successful.
First, I would like to thank Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) for choosing me as an instructor for the Creative Garden Workshop held in the Raleigh area last spring. I have received so much of my photography education through the years from my participation in CNPA. I look forward to working with one region of CNPA to present my Wherever You Go…There You Are workshop this spring. If you are not familiar with CNPA, please let me tell you more about his organization.
Gary Farber of Hunt’s Photo and Video did not hesitate to help me when I asked. He has been as supportive of me in my educational endeavors as he has been helpful to me as a longtime customer of Hunt’s. If you are looking for a company you can trust with excellent customer service, Hunt’s is the place to go.
I am very grateful to Jamie Konarski Davidson for choosing me as a teaching partner and sharing her expertise and experiences. Jamie does such an incredible job communicating with participants before, during, and after a workshop experience. She also is fantastic in her approach to instruction in the field. The laughter and friendship we developed while teaching were a bonus!
I will always be grateful to my teacher, mentor, and friend, Les Saucier. Les always says he plants seeds while working with his students. I am so thankful for the seeds he planted with me as a photographer and photography instructor. I will never forget how happy I was when he asked me to co-lead a Photo Tour with him in 2016. He gave me my start as a photography educator on that day. He definitely planted seeds.
Although not here with us anymore physically, I continue to be so grateful for my encouraging friend, Chris Almerini. Outside of my family, he was the most encouraging of all my photography endeavors. I still feel his encouragement and know he is currently scouting out the best locations in heaven to share with us when it is time.
I am thankful for all of my photography teachers and friends through the years. Knowing and learning from and alongside you has helped shape the photographer and educator I am today.
Huge thanks to my family who have supported me throughout all my years with photography. I appreciate how you allowed me to drag you on “family adventures” that began at two o’clock in the morning, let me use you as props, often required to be in costumes, proofread my blogs, allowed me to claim more than my share of the house for my photography endeavors, and support me day to day. I am forever grateful.
I wish the very best for each of you as we welcome a new year. Welcoming 2024 is as exciting as opening a new, greatly anticipated book. I am looking forward to continuing my creative and educational journey. I hope you will meet me somewhere along the path.
Happy New Year! I am so thankful for each of you!
I would love for you to consider joining me for one of my upcoming winter/spring 2024 offerings: