My introduction to photography was as a Girl Scout. To earn a merit badge, an uncle taught me how to develop the photos I would take with my classic Kodak "Brownie" camera!
After doing a bit of posing for a photography class as a freshman in high school, I became interested in the field in general. It was not until my senior year, however, that I finally took a course in photography. I did well enough that some of my work was used in the student newspaper and the yearbook. During this time, I entered my first photo contest and won!
After graduation, I enrolled at Cerritos Community College planning on a heavy academic load, including more courses in photography. However, marriage and a move to Orange County ended both my modeling and college careers.
Fortunately, my photographic education actually received a boost because my husband was a professional photographer. I learned a great deal from him as I assisted during portrait sessions and wedding shoots. Sadly, the marriage did not last and after the divorce, I moved to Santa Barbara. There I climbed the management ladder in the telecommunications field, and photography was put on a back burner. Instead, I became a 'crafter' and learned other forms of art like decorative painting, cross stitching, origami, and creative miniatures.
Years and many life experiences later, I settled in Fallbrook to be near my grandparents. Soon, I met and married a 40-year Fallbrook resident. We have been married 24 years and have two wonderful home educated sons, who are both Black Belts in taekwondo!
Then, about six years ago, a friend of mine from high school and I connected online. This meeting rekindled my interest in photography when I discovered he was very involved in it and that became our area of discussion. I learned a great deal and became totally immersed! Over time, I discovered I had an artistic bent and very much enjoyed using my work for creative and unusual images. With the magic of computer photo editing, there seems to be no end to the possibilities!
I have been commissioned to photograph such diverse subjects as weddings and martial arts events, including tournaments. However, my most popular work just happens to be my favorite subject: Route 66.
I have driven every mile of it, more than once, from where I was born in Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California with tons of photos to prove it! My Route post cards are offered in curio shops and motels in several places along the Mother Road, and I have hanging for sale in the Barstow Route 66 Museum. It truly pleases me to think that people from anywhere in the world are looking at my images and remembering their time on the Route.
My most challenging project has been combining my own photos of the Calico Early Man Site in Yermo with archival photographs. Many of the old photos featured Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey, the famed archaeologist and it was my task to use both the old and the new to create dozens of interpretive posters. These hang in the visitor center at the site and are used to help provide history as well as instruct.
Currently, I am working on a souvenir book, postcards and images for the walls of the Amargosa Opera House. It is being restored under the direction of, singer, dancer choreographer, and painter, Marta Becket. Some of that work is shown here under 'Amargosa' category.
Better Photo.com has inspired me to continue to learn as well as enter my work in their monthly contests. I can proudly say that I won the Grand Prize against world-wide competition, am recognized, as well as supported by other members and the editors.The winning photo, 'The Last Supper' is in the 'Death Valley' category. In addition, I was recently notified that one of my images, Mammouth Terrace, Yellowstone National Park, was chosen for inclusion in Jim Miotke's new book on photography!
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to get to know me just a little! JudyAnn