it's not what you see, it's how you see it...
At an early age I absolutely fell in love with ART. I found museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC to be my inspirational safe haven - an escape away from my adolescent insecurities.
I became lost in awe & delightfully overwhelmed by the evolving time periods and diverse talents. Forever fascinated by techniques, textures, perspectives, and overall composition used to showcase amazing style, creativity…and dynamic storytelling. Room after room, wall after wall, full of remarkable masterpieces: establishing a sense of time, place, purpose, history, emotion and overall beauty.
Besides the appreciation, there was a deep connection that I could see and feel. I simply loved to draw, play with design and make “crafty things”. I constantly entertained my artistic imagination with crayons, pens, markers, color pencils and of course those 80’s “friendship bracelets”. However the more I advanced into art classes, programs and projects as a young artist, I found something personally missing between concept to execution. The process of creating exactly what was in my minds-eye was always difficult to purely capture or replicate by hand. I guess you could call it my artistic "visual translation" of mind, heart and soul...to create and express what I truly saw, felt or imagined…
That was until my first photography class in 11th grade. I borrowed a family friends old Yashica 35mm camera, loaded the film, framed-it-up into the viewfinder - clicked the shutter, and got busy in the darkroom! -- THE CONNECTION was made. I opened my heart and eyes to the wonderful world of photography.
Being a photographer has and continues to be a beautiful motivational force. It gave me the focus and the courage fresh out of high school to move to Venice Beach, California - the ultimate in visual stimulation indeed. I could see more of the “eclectic real world” and learn how to shoot images better, learn to talk to strangers, take on creative challenges and meet other artist's while developing a photographic style of my very own - slightly tilted - embracing change, constantly learning and always evolving in the digital age.
My love for photography has propelled me in many wonderful directions: artistically, educationally, professionally and personally with the passion to always keep learning, to always search out the light and not be afraid to look into the shadows to create a story of my very own. From ordinary - to extraordinary.
I have been extremely fortunate to meet and photograph many great characters, developed wonderful friendships and have shared much laughter behind and in front of the lens. I have been lucky to have traveled to some spectacular places and have given my eyes much adventure to feast upon. Collecting and sharing a treasure trove full of wonderful memories: prints, slides, negatives and of course...THOUSANDS of digital images. The love affair still remains - I want to shoot more, travel more, experience more, embrace more, learn more, share more, and print more lovely photos!
Botanical beauty, majestic bridges, fabulous fireworks, spectacular sunsets, long exposures, night photography, the magical milky way, stunning time-lapse moments, travel adventures, intimate weddings and impromptu portrait shoots...there is ALWAYS that insatiable desire to translate light, shadow, form and emotion into an impressionistic scavenger hunt full of visual harmony and a some CHELAPHOTO style. I am delighted to create and share my imagery and passion of pictorial photography with those who take time to enjoy the beauty around them too.