Fort Lauderdale, FL
Forty years ago, my journey as a photographer begun as a junior in high school while enrolled in an introduction to Journalism and Communications class. My Journalism teacher Ms. Alice Culpepper handed me a Polaroid point and shoot camera and sent me out to photograph random scenes around the school for the school newspaper and yearbook. Ms. Culpepper critiqued several of my pictures and encouraged me to continue practicing and developing my photography skills. She believed that I had a “good eye” and talent for photography. She further encouraged me to pursue Journalism and Communications in college. My goal was to study law; however, my Guidance Counselor discouraged me from pursuing a career in law. According to her, "that field was too hard for Blacks to have a successful career post college". I ultimately took my teacher's advice and studied Journalism and Communications in college including, how to develop black and white pictures. My journalism and communications experience in college evolved into a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting Communications from the University of Florida.
Unable to jump start a career in Broadcast Communications in South Florida, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Learning Technology/Education and later begun a career as an educator/Media Specialist. Again, I found a new love for taking pictures and my cameras lived in the trunk of my car. As a Media Specialist I was awarded several grants that allowed me to share my love of photography and videography with my students. I also took on the task of yearbook coordinator and through that medium was also able to teach my students some basic photography and journalism skills including how to develop black and white film. Several of my students have become successful photographers and videographers. One student went on to win a national photography contest of his pictures taken after Hurricane Andrew.
Over the past thirty years I have had the privilege of traveling to several countries around the world including England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and Jamaica. A few of these countries I have visited more than once. While most of these destinations have been photographed repeatedly by others over the years, I believe that “good eye” that my high school teacher thought I had, makes my photos unique.
During the 80’s and early 90’s I was given a unique opportunity to be among a selected group of photographers who were hired by local South Florida reggae music producers to photograph Jamaican performers in local parks and night clubs. I was one of two women photographers who were granted access to various legendary or rising stars among the reggae artists. I was usually very successful in gaining access on stage to get close-up shots of the performers. I was a young paparazzi. At times I was the only photographer present at the shows. My passion for this medium is addictive. My cameras are my weapon of choice for capturing the soul and scenes of the world around me. My favorite cameras still shoots film; however, I am slowly evolving into the digital world. After thirty years working, I am now retired and have revisited my passion for photography. Once again, my cameras travel where ever I go.