BELONG TO THE ARTIST
(MIRAMACHO)Tell us about you... where did you grow up and when did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
(BIRDEE) I grew up in Central Florida and was always creative in some way. When I was in middle school and high school I devoted most of my time to playing music in band, taking a random art class here and there. I remember I took a photography class in high school where we learned to use the dark room and I loved it. Despite my love for creating, growing up with middle class working parents as well as a love for science, when it was time to pick my major in college I ended up choosing to get a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. I remember being quite excited I found something that was visual and scientific combined. I’ve now been doing Ultrasound for 15 years, and it’s been a great career. It wasn’t until recently (this past year) that I've taken the plunge to become a full time photographer.
Tell us about your path until you became a professional photographer
When I was in my mid to late 20’s I was starting to realize I had become disconnected from myself. The realization was not immediate. It was through trials, conflicts, and a failing marriage that I started to see that I didn’t know how to listen to my intuition and trust it. This inevitably led me to find an outlet for myself which came to me in the form of taking self portraits. Looking back on it, it was a beautiful way to start reconnecting with myself as well as focus on a creative outlet again. I started to share myself portraits on Instagram in 2014, where I began to connect with other artists, and others that just wanted to express themselves deeply through imagery and not feel alone in that. I made several friends through the Instagram community who encouraged me to continue with this hobby of sort, this search and discovery of self. Over the past several years I started doing shoots for other people, and the feeling of being able to reflect back others beauty had me ready to do this full time.
How were your very first years in photography? Did you have any idea of the topics or the things you wanted to shoot? How long it took you to get your current style?
I had no idea that myself portraits would turn into something bigger. I went about it without any limitations, goals, constructs, rules, or expectations for myself. I was purely creating for the enjoyment of creating, expressing, and learning more about myself. I think because of this freedom, as well as the excitement of something new, I created so much work in the first couple years. It wasn’t until I had created a good amount of work that I could look back on it and see my style.
You have a very sensitive and beautiful taste focusing your photographs in femininity. How do you see women in photography? As a woman, have you ever struggle with making your career in photography?
Thank you so much. I have never been deliberate with my focus or style in photography, it’s all come very natural to me. I believe it’s been a beautiful expression of the subconscious, and another way that I'm learning more about myself every day. I think because I found photography as a form of self discovery, appreciating my own sensuality and bravery, that I also naturally see that and celebrate it in others.
So far in my experience with being behind the lens, I have found that the only thing holding me back in a career with photography has been my own self limiting beliefs, which I am working on daily.
What kind of clients do you have? You have a very personal style: How does this fit with commercial works?
My clients are individuals who hire me for these immersive shoots. Their
reasons vary from going through a transition in life, moving, overcoming
a tragedy, healing, achieving and celebrating something, or to simply just
wanting to feel beautiful and make art. The shoot is typically an entire
day and allows time for them to explore these feelings and express them
in their own way. The session is also a time set aside for feminine playtime,
which feels celebratory, ceremonial, and freeing in itself.
I have yet to do commercial work, but this is something that I’m interested in exploring more in the future.
Do you always shoot film and digital? Why? Do you feel more comfortable with digital as backup?
I do always shoot both! I love them both for their own reasons. When I’m doing a shoot above water, I would typically only end up using my film images. But for the underwater shoots, in order to capture those precise moments that are magic and because the subject is almost always moving, I end up taking hundreds of photos for just one shoot. Digital is just so much more practical for this reason. I still can't help but to take a few rolls of film underwater each time as well.
What does photography mean to you? Nowadays, what moves you to take photos?
Photography allows me to share the beauty that I witness and share it with others. When I’m able to show a client how beautiful, creative, playful, and strong they are, they are able to see themselves in a whole new way. This to me moves me to keep taking photos.
Have you ever dealt with any creative crisis? How was it?
Early on in my photography journey, I had a couple instances where my significant others wanted me to stop taking self portraits and sharing them. Maybe this wouldn't be considered a creative crisis, but it was a crisis in a way that I had to really take a step back and evaluate what was important to me, and what did I want to be saying with my photography. It was beyond frustrating at the time, but I look back on it and am glad I was forced to question my actions and intentions. It allowed me to find my voice, find more confidence in it, and move forward with more intention.
Could you take one of your photographs and tell us what is behind that image?
This is one of my early self portraits and I love how it conveys the inner world that I was exploring, discovering, and nurturing. A lot of times for me the meaning of an image is revealed not in any planning, but in reflection, sometimes years after the image is made. The key for me is to connect with my inner self and be honest and open hearted during the creating process.
How are you feeling lately? Would you like to tell us about any future project?
Lately I am feeling more ready than ever to try new projects, try commercial photography, art shows, and pretty much the things that are scary when they are new. I have found that when I move through something that terrifies me, it helps me grow in so many ways I wouldn’t have known possible. I feel so passionate about making art and sharing beauty. So, in other words, I’m open if you’d like to work with me on a project!