I began my professional career as a scientist, and as far from photography as it may seem, science—especially biology—does inform my practice. I have a PhD in biological anthropology from Yale, which I earned studying chimpanzees (and getting them to pee in cups for me so I could analyze their hormone levels). Aside from the degree and training as a scientist, I gained at least two things that are essential to this line of work: 1) an ability to quietly observe, and 2) a complete imperturbability when it comes to getting peed on. And if you are going to photograph naked babies, this is not an unimportant skill!
My joy in taking photographs began when you actually had to load film into a camera, and when there was a seemingly endless wait for development. Photos of moving subjects (be they kids or chimpanzees) are much more satisfying to take when you can have instant feedback on whether the lighting is right, the subject is in focus, or the background works. I now take all of my images with a digital Nikon camera body and Nikkor (Nikon) lenses, and I LOVE the digital darkroom and the creativity it allows!
Ultimately, however, this career is all about the children. Before I had my own beautiful boys, I was more of an animal person than a “kid” person. But becoming a mother changed the way I see all children. Every child’s face is beautiful and unique, and even as babies, our individuality is apparent. I also now know how quickly it all goes, and how hard it can be to remember what your child was like just six months ago. I hope to capture the looks, mannerisms, and personalities that will allow families to look back at their photographs years later and say “Oh! I remember exactly what she was like at that age!!!”.