I got my start in photography my final semester of Sophomore year at La Roche College in Pittsburgh. At that moment, I was studying Accounting. My grades were average, and I was lacking motivation-- all unlike me. I was also working part-time at Nordstrom at the time. When I started at La Roche, I wasn't completely sure what it was I wanted to do when I graduated, so I thought a career in Finance would be safe. I soon found out it wasn't something I would be excited about pursuing after I graduated so this raised many red flags as to what I was passionate about and what I would like to do. I was lacking creativity. I've always been an observant, self thinker, so knew I need something that matched those qualities.
I loved painting in High School and remembered how it made me feel. So over Christmas break, I started looking into other options. I considered a major in Writing, Interior Design, and Graphic Design. The only thing the held me back, was that I would have to potentially do 1 or 2 extra semesters, as most of my business credits wouldn't transfer, and Interior design was a 5 year program. As much as I wanted a career change, I was eager to continue my path with what I've learned so far. I decided to humor the idea of a Marketing Degree. It would allow me to take a few creative courses and transfer my previous Finance credits. I saw a photography class available and thought it would a fun, relaxing course, amongst my business courses. I also took a entry level graphics class. Both of these classes combined completely change my perspective. I'll admit this now, but I was putting 90% of my attention into my photography course. I couldn't put my camera down. I was truly discovering who I was as a person through the lens. I started shooting nature, played with composition, and learned the basics. Unfortunately, there was only 1 or two photography classes at La Roche, but I continued to use the school's tools to keep photography in my life. My Junior year, I took an internship at WPXI where I was send to photograph and cover events around Pittsburgh. I would show up to these events, and people would introduce me as the photographer. It got me thinking, wait, this is actually a job?! I started to shoot more for fun, and experimented taking portraits with friends. One of my courses was an Internet Marketing class where we were to create a website for a "pretend" business, to learn how to make a usable website. I thought, why spend my time making a website for something else when I could make a website for myself! Once this was finished I accidentally had a portfolio. I used this to share my work and eventually by word of mouth, I was getting inquiries about taking photos. I was getting a good amount of photo work while I was finishing school. However, when I graduated, I was unsure if I should pursue photography full-time. It was definitely a risk. My background was in business and I had no real training other than the 1 course I had taken for fun two years prior. Two teachers of mine played a big role and pushing me to be the best I could be. I thought, well I'll work at an Advertising Agency, and then maybe eventually get enough work that one day I could be full-time.
I applied to a few jobs, and realized this career path wasn't for me. I made the leap and decided I was going to give a career in photography my best foot forward. Shortly after, I became a Retoucher + Fashion Photographer at ModCloth based in Pittsburgh. I was also shooting events and weddings. I discovered my passion was for Fashion photography. I remember when I worked at Nordstrom, I would just stare at the imagery and ads and think, one day that will by work. I felt if I wanted to be serious about Fashion work, I needed to move to NYC. I'm currently living in Long Island City, in New York City, NY. I've lived here for 2.5 years. I travel with brands and also create travel on my own (I can't go on a trip without taking photos).
Photos above from my trip to Mexico with Luanna