Photography has been a part of my life since I can remember. My dad was never without his movie camera, documenting family gatherings and vacations as well as some moments we would rather forget. I was a teen when I got my first camera. But my true love was art. I carried a sketch pad everywhere I went. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s, when I took a photography class at an art center in Eugene, Ore., that I discovered photography itself could be an art form. From that first class, my life was forever changed. I was consumed by the magic of the darkroom. I fell in love with the connection to the world that came through the lens of the camera: landscapes, people, my interior view of life. I was in awe at how the normal things of life could be lifted to a higher meaning by beautiful light and judicious framing. And by connection.
And even now, decades later, I am still smitten by the power of photography. The camera has become my conduit for connection, a direct link from heart to the subject. For me, photography is about heart and about art. Inspiration and communication. Have you seen my book? It’s called This is Who I Am–our beauty in all shapes and sizes (Artisan Books 2008). It’s about women, body image and compassion. The images are accompanied by essays. And the essays are made more effective because the reader can connect with the photographs and perhaps see themselves in some way. That is the power of photography.