A Brief Story:
I am from Tennessee (raised in a quiet town on the outskirts of Nashville + attended both college and grad school in west Tennessee). At one point in time, I spent a little over a year living in Fort Worth, Texas, working as a photographer for a college. I've taught photography in college for a total of four years: two as an adjunct in an art department (mainly darkroom with some digital), and two full-time years teaching (all digital) photojournalism in a communications department. I also worked just shy of three years at a wonderful bakery in Memphis (during and after my time finishing up graduate school).
I recently (summer 2015) moved to Chicago to work as a photographer/multimedia producer at a college.
A Little More Detailed Version:
I began my curiosity and interest in photography at the early age of ten. In the fourth grade I won first place in a 4-H photography contest, locally, regionally, and then in the state competition for a photo that I inadvertently double exposed.
That is where it all began for me, my curiosity was peaked! From there my parents allowed me to continue to follow this curiosity by entering me into a summer arts program offered to kids at a local design college. I took photography in the mornings, and drawing in the afternoon. I cannot draw to this day, but what I learned in those mornings has fueled the fire for what I now do.
I was the girl with the camera, who blew through 35mm film like it was going out of style (little did I know, it would begin to a few years later). College hit, and I was able to EXPERIENCE the DARKROOM and a new love was found. Then, digital cameras popularized, and I jumped on the bandwagon. I completed my bachelor of arts degree majoring in Sociology, with a minor in photojournalism. I was the photo technician on campus for three years and a student photographer for the school for two, I was quickly bumped from photo editor of our college's newspaper to the managing editor my final semester in school.
As a photojournalist, I have been able to participate in the photographic coverage of disaster relief during hurricanes, tornadoes and severe flooding, as well as photograph at an NFL football game, NASCAR race, and ride on motorcycles at the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota.
Upon graduation, I ventured off to graduate school, seeking an MFA in photography. After my first year of schooling, I left school, moved to Texas, and spent a year as a photographer in a communications department at a school.
After that year, I returned to my alma matter to teach art photography (darkroom/film based) as both the program director and adjunct professor. Again, after a year of teaching, I decided to also return to graduate school to finish up my degree. So for my second year of teaching, I was also a full-time student. After the craziness of commuting two-three hours round trip two and three times a week, plus teaching an overload as an adjunct, and taking graduate classes, I decided to return for my third year of graduate school free from having to teach and commute.
After my third, but not quite final year of graduate school, and having started working in a bakery, I decided once again to take some time off from school. Burn out from academic life was at an all-time high for me at that point. I needed a year off as a break to re-evaluate and re-group.
After a year had passed, I decided it was time to finish my final, one-credit-hour course to complete my degree, then to return to teaching.
After graduating in December 2012 with my MFA, I accepted a full-time job back at alma matter, teaching in my mentor's position within the communications arts department. For two years I was the Visiting Professor of Communications Arts (Photojournalism) and also served as faculty and then co-faculty advisor of our student newspaper and magazine.
At the end of July 2015, I moved and took a new job in Chicago as multimedia producer at a college, where I'll be making many photos and some video. I hope to return to adjuncting teaching photography in the near future as well. And who knows what may come in the future!