I started doing photography about 5 years ago, because my husband and daughter happened to buy me a new camera for Mothers Day. I grabbed the camera, and started photographing the surfers. At first nothing great was coming of it, but I kept getting better, and I kept at it, and I started getting recognized by the surfers. They started to follow me on Instagram and Facebook and share my pictures. Then I started to dabble with the birds and the wildlife, but I had no idea it was going to become what it is today, this side business. I did it because I found peace being at the beach, and photographing things that made people happy. I have so many people that used to live at the beach that follow my work, and they always tell me how it reminds them of being at the beach at the Jersey Shore. It really makes me happy when I know I can bring that happiness to others.
My mother passed away from cancer on January 1st 2007. We moved down here in July of 2007. She absolutely loved the beach. The last photo I have of her feeling well was of all of us at the Manasquan inlet. The beach is a place I find her, and I know she is there. We grew up coming down to the shore all the time, visiting my aunt, and when she passed away, we felt that was where we needed to be, because this is where she wanted to live. My daughter has been here since 2nd grade, and now she will be graduating high school.
When she was really sick toward the end of her life, from Christmas through the following week, I was with her every day. I knew she wasn’t going to get better. On New Years Eve my father told me to go down and visit a friend and to take a break. So I went to my friend’s house, and while I was there, she passed away. It was hard. But you know what, I have come to accept that she didn’ t want to go through seeing her struggle through her final moments. She didn’t want me to have to remember the last moments of her life, and I am ok with that now.
But now by doing what I love, and knowing that this brings happiness to others is so meaningful to me, and the best part is, when I am out there at the beach taking photos, I know she is there with me always.