Category: Photography

An Interview With Photographer Cendrine Marrouat


Cendrine LinkedIn profile (1)



Cendrine Marrouat is a photographer, here is a link to her website:


Q: What made you interested in photography?

A: The desire to document the things around me.


I started my artistic career as a poet, and like every writer will tell you, it can be hard to find the words to describe concepts.


Originally, though, I did not believe I had any talent as a photographer. For a very long time, I did not even know what I was doing. But people’s encouraging words did the trick. In 2014, after four years of practice and self-education, I started selling my photos online. A year later, my first photography book was out.


Q: Why black and white?

A: There is something very special about it. I am like a child in a candy store when I see tintypes and daguerreotypes. Early photography fascinates me.


Working with the black-and-white format is a fulfilling and liberating experience. It is like trying to re-create the past out of the present. I’m not sure if it makes sense.


Q: Who are some of your influences and how can we see them in your work?

A: Ansel Adams is the photographer who has had the most impact on my work. While I am not a big fan of over-processing photos, I love contrast.


As to how people can see Adams’ influence in my photos, I can’t really say. I will let others decide for themselves. 😉


Q: What is the overall theme of ‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’?

A: I have noticed that an increasing number of people resort to negativity to get attention these days. Facebook, in particular, has become a hotbed of verbal aggression.


People need to treat themselves better if they want respect from others. But it will not happen until they understand the importance of self-awareness.


‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’ leverages this idea. I have paired my own images with words of wisdom (based on personal experience) to encourage the viewer to reconnect with themselves.


Q: What are some common mistakes people make when they first attempt nature photography?


A: Most people go directly for the obvious — the thing that is directly in front of them. They do not take the time to build stories into their shots.


For example, when taking a photo of a landscape, check if there are clouds. Blue sky is nice but can be quite boring. Clouds add great texture and drama.


Macros are not interesting if you just stand on top of your subjects. It has just been done too many times. Look around you and take advantage of your surroundings. Take a vertical shot, for example.


Aim for the geometry in nature, look at the way light hits tree barks or leaves, and use the rule of thirds to create dynamics.


Good photography is like theatre or a traditional haiku. It forces us to rethink our pre-conceived notions of the world.


Q: What is the most challenging photograph you have ever taken?

A: This one: (The black-and-white version can be found here:


I took the photo a few years ago in my backyard just after a rain spell. Everything was against me. The ground was muddy. The wind was blowing quite hard. And my tripod was too tall. I had to actually hand-hold the camera and twist my body not to move too much!


I cannot remember how long it took me to take the shot, but my legs hurt for a long time after the session. Lol


Q: How does your job as a language teacher influence your ability to pursue your photography projects?


A: Studying the way language works has many benefits. For example, you develop strong analytical skills and an ability to read between the lines. Through my 14 years as a French instructor to adults, I have also learnt flexibility and how to ensure that the learning experience is fun and enriching for my students.


Every time I am in the classroom, I feel excited and alive. I know I will learn almost as much  from my students as they will learn from me. I keep that open mind with photography and always experience the same kind of emotions.


Q: What makes something a worthwhile focal point for a nature photograph?

A: The little details that make the overall picture enticing.

Q; What are do you consider to be something in nature that has been over-photographed? What has been under examined?


A: Honestly, I don’t think you can over-photograph anything in nature. It all depends on your relationship with your surroundings and the way you use them to tell your stories.


I have been taking shots of the same spots for years. But each photo is different or unique. The light will never hit in the same exact spot. The wind may have moved things around. Somebody may have left their mark, etc. I just love challenging myself to catch those differences.


What has been under examined, though, is the impact of details on the resulting images. Nature is not just about gorgeous landscapes and flowers.


Great photography seeks the mundane to capture the fleeting, but true beauty of life in its many forms.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.



An Interview With Photographer Sinji



Sinji is a photographer; here is a link to his website:|0/



Q: What made you want to be a photographer?


A: When I was young, my Brother had a 35mm with a bunch of Filters and many gadgets, I was Amazed. Nature is Amazing. I loved Photography ever



Q:  What kind of training do you have?


A: I Studied Photoshop, StudioMX in College


Q: What makes your photography unique?


A: I have a special technique, I expose Spirit Entities hiding in the Photo’s, I do not add anything I merely enhance the pixels

Q:  What gave you the idea to Photoshop nature photography in the first place?

A: When I was learning Photoshop, one day I started ” pushing buttons” to experiment with what they do.

Q: You work as a personal chef. How does your day job influence your photography? I use color combinations

A: from plates of Food I made, when I need to modify the color.

Q:  What is the most photogenic kind of food?


A: Desserts with candied fruit, candied vegetables, candied nuts and boiled sugar fruit sauces are Beautiful and very photogenic.


Q: What has been your most challenging photographic project?


A:  My work is always challenging. It’s like a box of Chocolates, I never know what my work is gonna look like when I’m done. Only a few are acceptable.


Q: What do you like about living in Alaska?


A:  I like snow, when I was living in San Mateo, it never snowed


Q: Who are some of your favorite photographers?


A: I appreciate everything High Culture.


Q: Who would you Photoshop into the White House?


A: President Obama has a great face, I don’t get good results from People or anything Man made.
For my Art, I do not photograph People , only Natural and not Man made things or People. I tried Photographing people and City Scape, but when I modify the Photo, I did not get desirable results.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Photographer Nicholas Makhonuk



Nicholas Makhonuk is a photographer; here is a link to his website:



Q:  What made you interested in photography?


A: Photography peaked my interest once the iPhone 4 was out.

I was about 17 at the time and Instagram had also been released. The mixture of exploring new places and being inspired to use my phone as a camera had it really easy to start photographing.


Q:  What kind of training have you had?


A: All my training has been through on the field, youtube or learning from a few other photographers on the job.


Q:  What kinds of things do you like to photograph?


A: I enjoy city scapes and landscape for personal photography. Street photography can be fun also. As far as clients and events I prefer to photograph weddings because of the many emotions that go with it.


Q: What do you hope to express through your work?


A: I hope to capture beautiful images and moments naturally. I want to make sure when you get your images you say wow I remember exactly that moment like it just happened.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work?


A:  I do photography full time.


Q: Who are some of your influences?


A: I am influenced by conversations, the places I visit and the books I read.


Q:  What have you done to promote yourself?


A: My promotion has just been the typical online marketing :facebook, instagram etc.


Q:  What do you like about living in San Francisco?


A: I am no longer in the bay area but in Los Angeles. I moved here because of the huge media industry and great weather 🙂


Q:  What would you change about it?
A: I would make Los Angeles have less traffic. Uber pool is a bit of a start for this problem.



Q: What is the oddest thing you have ever photographed?


A: I photograph odd times often. Often there is a silly expression that I capture and think if only this person knew how they look like. and then they do:)

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Author Monty Schwarzenberg





Monty Schwarzenberg is a former high fashion photographer and the author of the novels The Me Nobody Knows and Cuckoo Heart; here is a link to his website:


Q: What is The Me Nobody Knows about?


A: It’s a love story between two loners that, in their reciprocal passion, find a safe haven to heal their spirits from the deep scars carved by horrifying childhoods.

She is a beautiful teenager in the run trying to leave behind years of physical and mental abuse. He is forty-year-old part-time fashion photographer and adventurer taking ingenious advantage of his good fortune and temporary success.

From the first moment they met, he felled irremediably in love. And, by means of good luck and powerful influences, he helped her to become a superstar. Achieving fame and making a small fortune out of their professional collaboration.

Soon after a rickety start, crammed with infidelity and frustration, she falls in love as well, and together they find a fulfilling path to make sense out of their lives, staying together happily ever after. Unfortunately, like in all love stories, there is no happy end because one of them would die before the other.​


Q: What inspired you to write it?


A: Love at first sight. I was compelled by that mysterious spark that drew people into unexplainable relationships every time a reciprocal passion was shared in return. I fell in love with six women along sixty years and every time, I was convinced of finding the real one; until the magical spark reappeared and love happened again.

To be alive has been the greatest experience and the way love affected my aging process found a new way out in the form of written words.



Q: You say in you bio on your web page that the supermodels you work with are “the last creatures on earth that fully understand their basic function as human being,” why do you think that?


A: Models are one of the few human creatures that truly understand that our most basic elemental mission is replicating ourselves in small copies. Descendants that we must feed and care for until they are ready to initiate their own new cycle and we can survive as living specie. By randomness in ours, females have the duty of attracting the healthier male partners to produce the better possible progeny.

Supermodels are the epitome of perfection and they exercise like none others the duty of seducing males for mating purposes. Even though 99% of that seduction process is just theoretical and should never be grounds for abuse, it is a constant reminder in a world where women are hated and degraded by fearful pathetic men.


Q: What are some of the projects you worked on as a high fashion photographer?


A: Galliano, Lacroix, Kenzo, Ferre, among my favorite and…etc., etc., etc​


Q: Were eating disorders as common as most people think?


A: Not at all. People tend to denigrate from anyone that achieves success, always with baseless assumptions. Fashion models are so thin because it is a job requirement and beauty is their priority. And aside from amazingly fast metabolisms, they eat less and better than the common and live healthier lifestyles with an emphasis in intensive physical activities, sex and pampering.

Q: What was your most memorable work story?


A: Once, I was filming a television spot with a supermodel that grew extremely impatient with a technician from my crew that needed to hook her up with a wireless microphone. She demanded that I would perform that task because the man was hurting her. I went to her dressing room not knowing that the wireless box was on and the sound mixer decided to record our conversation for unknown reasons…The results of that recording taught me that things are never as they seem to be nor as people perceive them. “Oh, you’re finally here,” she said. “We are kind of late,” I uttered. “Where do you want me to put it?” “I don’t care,” she responded. “Put it anywhere you want.” “Would you be okay if I put it behind?” I continued “I told you that I don’t care as far as you do it right.” She said. Moments later, “Ouch, it hurts.” “Sorry.” “Let me look at that thing… Oh my gosh, it’s so small.” “It is what it is and you need to deal with it…I won’t take long.” Therefore, don’t believe what you hear out there. The story went around the city and created an amazing false impression out of nothing.​


Q: Who are some of your literary influences?


A: I was deeply influenced by every single author whose stories I enjoyed to the end. I learned that people only read whatever is compelling to their lives and fantasies. ​


Q: When and how did you find out your father was a spy?


A: He told me on a winter night in 1964. He was under his usual alcoholic intoxication and he confessed the unbearable regret of having betrayed people that he cared for in the name of duty and love for the country. Amid drunken sobs, he told me that he spied for the allied forces during WWII and he carried the guilt sending some of his pretended friends to death or punishment. Like all human beings, he grew fond of the people he shared his life with and duty forced him to kill them. ​


Q: What is Cuckoo Heart about?

A: is farce about human integration between people with two different upbringings, education and lifestyles that are imprisoned and obligated to share their lives in a place that they can’t physically leave. At the end of the day, they were all equal…always ready to fuck, always ready to kill.​



Q: What life experiences did you draw from to write it?


A: From residing in South Florida for the last fourteen years and still being unable to determine if, Latinos will ever become Americanized or vice versa, a new breed of American Latinos.​


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)



An Interview With Digital Media Producer and photographer Willie Pena



Willie Pena is a Digital Media Producer and photographer; here is a link to his website:

Q: What made you interested in digital media?

A: I first became interested in digital media due to my earlier career as a DJ. I used to have to carry around hundreds of extremely HEAVY and breakable 12 inch records to play, along with bulky turntables and other gear. It was entirely impractical and a giant pain in the neck.

Then compact discs came out and changed everything…especially when it became possible to burn your own music CDs. I remember that back then, audio “purists” hated the compact disc…calling the sound unnatural. The same effect happened when mp3s came out, and now that movies are also being shot on digital media rather than film, I see the same exact reaction again.

But I have always had a different reaction — one of excitement. To me, digital media is game-changing technology because it takes asset creation and delivery out of the hands of big monopolies and puts them into the hands of everyday people. You no longer have to rely on printers and manufacturers to get your work out into the world…everything is easily created and distributed, and that has changed the world for the better in most cases.

Q: What kind of services do you offer?

A: I do pretty much everything related to digital media. I think bullet points would be easier so here goes:

  • Freelance writing for websites, blogs, marketers, ad agencies
  • Scripts for commercials and films
  • Storyboards
  • Content marketing and social media planning
  • Web marketing strategy
  • Video production and video editing
  • Directing
  • Photography and photo editing
  • Infographics
  • E-books and whitepapers
  • Graphic design and Illustration
  • Original music production and scoring
  • Red carpet coverage and interviewing
  • Film, book, product and music reviews
  • And yes, I can still DJ with the best of them!

Q: What kind of training do you have?

A: There are a lot of different disciplines involved in what I do as you can see from the list above. As far as the illustration and design stuff, I received early training from my dad, who was a commercial and fine artist most of his life. The video work is all self-taught.

As far as the content marketing side, apart from some basic writing and journalism classes in college, all my training has been on-the-job and through studying what experts do. You have to stay on top of the latest trends to be in this business, and I get daily digests from many sources to keep up with all the different technology and strategies out there to grow a brand and drive revenue.

Q: What is the oddest thing you have been asked to promote?

A: Probably weight-loss pills. I am amazed that companies still peddle this stuff…and that people actually buy it!

Another weird situation is regarding one of my side projects, a teen website and video program called Teens Wanna Know. I am constantly pitched adult things by publicists for this site, even though it is for kids, such as stories about the latest sex toys and celebrity porn, stuff like that. I’m like, I am sure some teens really WANT to know about this stuff…but a family-friendly site isn’t the best place for them to find out about it haha!

Q: What are some simple things people can do to increase their social media popularity?

A: You need to post a lot, simple as that. That is RULE NUMBER ONE! No posts equals no activity.

So an easy trick is to share/retweet cool things other people have written around the web…so you don’t have to come up with so much material yourself.

If I were a dentist, for example, I would share interesting things posted by Colgate and other familiar brands daily in addition to my own self-created content. This helps would help establish my social media channels as go-to places for everything regarding oral care, instead of just being places where I pitch my services.

And never cheat and buy followers on sites like Fiverr or Craigslist just to get your numbers up. It is very easy to spot people pumping up their numbers and this harms credibility.

Plus…if you cheat, you never really fix the problems that are causing your social media efforts to be duds.

Q: Do you only do red carpet events or do you take paparazzi pictures as well?

A: I do red carpet events mostly because stars expect to be photographed and videotaped there…they are happy about it.

I did “paparazzi” work for ONE DAY as a trainee before I quit. It was awful to go up to people and just shoot them without permission, I hated it — and so did the celebrities I shot.

Q: Why do you think celebrities feel compelled to say they don’t want their picture taken?

A: Because it gets to be too much. It really is an invasion of their space and privacy, even if they are in public.

Celebrities simply want to do their thing and eat lunch or buy groceries or whatever, and having a horde of stupid, aggressive low-lives getting in their face every 10 seconds gets old quick.

Believe me, from hanging out with paps in Los Angeles for a while, I can say that most of these people leave lots to be desired as far as ethics, integrity and even basic human decency…so that’s why celebs hate them. The good ones work red carpets and events, and the idiots rudely chase after people in the streets.

Q: What do you like about Los Angeles?

A: The whole city is a creative haven. Wherever you go you will find someone involved in a creative field, whether that be filmmaking, theater, music, painting, or even making YouTube videos. It is a city of artists, and very laid-back despite its size.

I grew up around New York City, and that place is pretty harsh. I don’t miss it at all. L.A. is sunny and inviting and inspiring.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: There is so much I would change, you’ve opened up a can of worms! Here are some bullet points haha:

  • I would reduce bureaucracy and throw out about 90 percent of our laws and regulations which are simply a burden and most people don’t even know what they are in the first place, instituting a “no victim, no crime” policy for most infractions.
  • Get a sensible plan in to reduce traffic congestion.
  • Improve conditions in inner-city neighborhoods through outreach, employment opportunities, education, and the reduction of dependence on the government for basic survival.
  • Reform the police department to improve their reputation and decrease their violence against citizens. I would make them “peace and safety officers,” rather than “law enforcement officers.” Plus I would have them in brighter cars and uniforms like in Europe instead of scary dark uniforms and cars that look like Killer Whales and intimidate people, rather than make them feel taken care of.
  • Reward businesses by reducing taxes and eliminating many of the barriers to doing business here, such as overregulation, licensing fees and requirements, etc.
  • Reduce the cost of healthcare and break the monopoly of the AMA by piloting reduced certification and education requirements for general healthcare practitioners within the city and encouraging smaller “mom & pop” medical offices to spring up to compete with major hospitals and corporations. Also, allow other practices besides allopathic medicine.
  • Reform our judicial system through reduced requirements to practice certain types of law, allowing more people to participate in our judicial process and lowering prices.
  • Reward citizenship, production, and contribution…and do not reward those who leech off of everyone else or who are here illegally.

How’s that for starters? : )

Q: What can I do to become an internet superstar?

A: Here is what I wish were true:

  1. Post a lot of good, entertaining, engaging, informative, and awesome content.
  2. Market the heck out of it however you can until it goes viral.

Here is how it actually works:

  1. Post something dumb, ridiculous, or horrible — such as videos involving cats, nudity, or people beating each other up in the streets.
  2. Sit back and watch the clicks come in.

Yep. As in everything else in life — the answer is not so simple, nor fair.

But given enough persistence, funds, and ingenuity, you CAN make it even if no one know who you are right now. I have seen it happen, and the main differentiator seems to be having the burning desire to make it happen no matter the cost or effort.

And you can always write to me at for some ideas…


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Photographer Anna Liza Dela Cruz

Portrait of Anna Liza P Dela Cruz



Anna Liza Dela Cruz is a Los Angeles based photographer; here is a link to her blog:


Q: What made you interested in photography?

A: I remember a fascination with the lighting in a certain photo. It was a photo of me sitting on the couch in my childhood home, and the morning light was shining through the windows. It somehow illuminated the surroundings in such a way that I never noticed before. I don’t even remember who took the photo nor do I know where that photo is today, but I am thankful that I still have that memory.

After my folks passed away, I earned enough to be able to travel, which was a treat for me because my family was unable to afford any vacations. I pretty much had a sheltered childhood, and so when I finally had the opportunity to travel, I was eager to capture everything that interested me in these new places because life is uncertain and memories fade away.

It is through the aid of the photographic process that I am able to exist and experience this life in a productive and meaningful way.



Q: What kind of educational background do you have?

A: I’ve attended public schools during my childhood, and have taken classes at Cal State Los Angeles and at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division. I initially wanted to major in Biology and minor in Business, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans so now I’m trying to nurture my creative side.



Q: What kinds of day jobs have you had and how do they inspire you?


A: I’ve mostly had clerical jobs. To be honest, some days it was hard to find something that inspired me about such work, but then there were moments of little triumphs that made work easier or more meaningful, and that kept me going. Any prior job experience is a part of who you are, and the skills that you learn along the way help you to be a contributing member of society.



Q: What was your most challenging job?


A: The most challenging will always be the next job or project I work on because I never know what surprises may come my way.

Q: What kinds of things do you like to photograph?

A: I like to photograph many different things—from people to everyday objects, trash, and even dog poo—yes, dog poo. Ideas, emotion, timing, serendipity, and other factors play an important part in the type of photos I make, but I do gravitate towards facial expressions, interesting compositions of shapes and lines, a good color palette, flower arrangements, and abstract compositions.



Q: Who are some of your creative influences?


A: Hiroshige, Hokusai, Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Redon, Kandinsky, Picasso, Gallé, T Enami, Wright, Höch, Matta, Coburn, Duchamp, Nagy, White, Miyatake, Fuss, Nachtwey, and Fontcuberta just to name a few. All in all, those I meet, the things I see, and the moments that I experience, are what influence me. I especially look forward to encountering those who have a passion for their work.



Q: What makes for a good self-portrait?


A: Being able to get an idea or a feeling across to the viewer is the mark of a good photograph whether it is a self-portrait or not.



Q: What do you look for in a subject?


A: It really depends on the circumstances, but generally, I look for elements of design that complement each other.



Q: What is interesting about LA?


A: It’s the merging of different types of people, their cultures, and ideas—that is what gives life and character to any place.


Q: What is your oddest LA story?

A: I suppose the most recent recollection would be the time I went on one of my “photographic eye” walks through Downtown Los Angeles. I was in skid row when I saw this lady in a dress sitting on the curb, and then I realized that she was peeing onto the street. At that moment, I had several emotions and thoughts running through my head—the dominant being that men have it easy because they can pee standing up! The rest mostly brought up more questions than I had answers for. What is this lady’s story? How did it come to this? What can we do? What can I do? Why would this be odd? She seemed so carefree and content in that moment. She didn’t care what other people thought. It was wonderfully human.



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Photographer Gigi Ostrowski




Gigi Ostrowski is a Colorado based nature photographer; here is a link to her blog:


Q: What made you want to become a photographer?

A: I’ve loved photography since I was 14. However, I got serious about it when I was in my 40’s. I was a social worker for adult protection in Boulder County, Colorado but, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and knew I had to figure out a way to supplement my income and jumped into photography. I crossed my fingers and went for it. My house at that time had flowers, dragonflies and bees that whispered to have their pictures taken. At that time I only had a 10 mp camera, but if you know lighting and angles you can make anything work. I framed pictures and made my own cards, even though I had never done any of that before. I started working festivals every weekend and they took off.

Actually, even now many of my pictures are taken from that little camera, although I have the whole expert set up with a macro lens, but in Colorado you may be driving and suddenly there is something that must have its picture taken and all you have is your small camera. You can never pass up a moment that might not happen again. So you don’t need anything special if you just believe in yourself.


Q: Who are some of your influences?

A: Most of my influences have been mentors too. I was fortunate that when I got serious about photography the art community in Colorado welcomed me. Actually, not just welcomed me, but invited me into galleries and shows. Not only photographers, but painters too, and all artists have some specialty to teach you as a beginner. 

So I would have to say Barry Bailey, his photography is incredible and he showed me how to use my camera and even which one to buy. That was a huge asset for me, so this is a nice way to say thank you… thanks Barry!

Daryl Price is an unbelievable artist who is also suffering from a chronic pain disease, but he continues through the pain. He is amazing and gives me hope.  When I have a bad day I think of Daryl and I make it through my day. It may not be the most productive, but I’m able to do a few things and think positive. And despite the fact that people can’t compare pain levels he is such an inspiration to me.

But the person who influenced me the most was Billie Colson, who owns the Independence Gallery in Loveland, Co. She always motivated me to excel at my art. Plus her work is so beautiful you can see angles, light and how it makes a difference in her art. Further, how to use shading to your picture to bring more power to it. She was and is a strong influence in my work.

Through all of these great artists I have been able to ameliorate my photography.


Q: What inspires you about Colorado?

A: Being a Colorado native everything inspires me. From 300 days of sunshine to mountains that can touch the stars or the lush golden aspens that sparkle in the sun. The diverse wildlife, Colorado has to offer to be photographed range from elk, big horn sheep, and even bears. They lend individual beauty and strength to the photographs you can acquire here.

The insects; I love the dragonflies of all colors that seem to enjoy dancing in front of me, begging me, teasing me, daring me to take their pictures.

Oh, and the lichen! Few stop to notice and most think of it as simple moss on rocks. However, most lichen is colorful and amazing when blown up. Lichen has been used in dyes and perfumes and has an actual function which I won’t bore you with, but you can look it up on Wikipedia if you have an interest. But once I saw it through my macro lens I was speechless, what colors and shapes I saw.

Colorado has copious amounts of inspiration for me and will perpetually stir my soul. But to be honest, I’ve never found a place that didn’t hold magnificent pictures. No matter where I am, I can find a photograph.


Q: What did you photograph in Wales?

Wales was wonderful to be in for 3 months and it might be easier to figure out what I didn’t photograph. I of course found lichen, moss and all the flowers I could imagine there.

However, I found a strange fascination with chimneys as bizarre as it sounds. They were so charming in their different shapes and sizes. I could also find them everywhere, so it didn’t matter where I went. I took pictures of chimneys with laundry in the forefront, flowers in the background. We’ll have to wait and see how they come out after I edit them

But beyond chimneys, my favorite were the beaches, which was different for me. Lighthouses, rock formations, waves, docks and yes… chimneys lol!

I was a tourist too, and took pictures of castles with fog rolling in and all the basics. Pictures are the best memories, always.

Q: What was the most challenging thing you have ever had to photograph?

A: I see it in my mind’s eye right now. My nephew! I like taking pictures of people, but I usually get my best ones when they don’t know it. I do candid photos with people when they are in thought or just being their true selves. But my nephews’ picture was for his second birthday party invitations and the pressure was on and all he wanted to do was cry, rant and rave, of course. We spent hours with toys, bottles and tempted him with anything we could and no way would he smile. Finally, we were all frustrated and decided we’d go with one of them after I looked through them all. I was so disappointed, but as he looked up, in his car seat, it was perfect, no smile, but candid. I got so many compliments on that photo and if people only knew. I never want the challenge of a screaming two year old again!


Q: What trends in the art world annoy you?

A: That’s so easy for me, PHOTOSHOP! I will brighten or darken my photos, but for people to say they are photographers, but Photoshop all their photos kill me. It’s one thing if you’re an electric artist, but to say you’re a true, straight on photographer and there is a moon larger than a mountain that is heart shaped in Colorado, not going to happen. But we don’t have limits with photography now with all the programs and I’m not saying we should, but we should be honest about our art, it is representing us. I don’t know how to use all the features and I could have my son teach me, but I like being a photographer right now. Maybe at some point I’ll branch out, but at that point, I’ll also tell my clients that I have.


Q: What do you think is key to good nature photography?

 A: The key is literally taking the picture and looking for pictures in everything, even if you don’t think it’s perfect. It might be in the lens, but you can’t see it. Because, nature is already perfect, but we are so busy and want “the perfect shot” that we never take the picture. I spoke with a gentleman getting ready to go on a photographic safari on my way to Amsterdam and he said that he hoped he took a few pictures, but they would have to be perfect. Really? The biggest trip of your life and you might take pictures, wow! I think getting out early with the sunrise and perfect light is a must. Find a picture that will make you proud, something truly unique. If not, try making the angle unique. There are plenty of pictures in nature to take, but knowing the right ones, that is what makes a good nature photographer.

Know that you have a good eye to see something that others may not see. And remember that only you were able to get that picture, because it only happened at that moment in time. Nature rarely repeats itself.


Q: How do the experiences you had as a social worker influence you as an artist?

A: It gave me a deeper appreciation for life and nature. Dealing with hoarders, homeless people and people who were so much worse off than yourself make you love all of life so much more. You see people at their lowest and they appreciate the smallest gesture, the little glimmer of hope. Honestly, they always smiled when I gave them one of my picture cards or came into my office and saw my pictures on the walls. That is when you know your art can touch the hearts of others, that is when you know you make a difference.

Further, social work helped me get along with all different types of people and you meet all types in the art world, artist and clients. It also gave me a diversity level like no other, so whether it’s in nature or at a show, I give thanks to all for being there with me.


Q: What is unique about your photographs.

A: I wait, wait for a dragonfly to come to me. I hear they don’t do that with everyone, but they do with me, I guess you could say I’m a dragonfly whisperer. It’s actually my nickname, Dragonfli.

Also, I don’t use Photoshop on my photographs, I lighten or darken them. But other than that, what I see, you see. I try to make them as natural as possible. So the vibrant colors I see are the same you see. I love the bright colors of flowers and most people never get as close to them as I do. I get as close as possible to get the maximum color possible.

I’m also a bit strange with my macro photography because I try to think like a tiny person would (ok that sounds crazy lol!). However, I think to myself “what would be pretty if I were tiny” and that is what I look for in the lens.

I remember when I was a kid loving all the miniature flowers in our backyard and my mother would tell me stories about the tiny people who lived there. I think it’s where my love of macro photography came, I still imagine those tiny people climbing all over my lens.

So what makes my photographs unique? How about all the magic that comes to life through my lens.

 Q: If you could meet Diane Arbus or Ansel Adams, who would you pick

A: For me, that comes easy, Ansel Adams. Although Diane Arbus has an amazing body of work, people aren’t my focus.

Ansel Adams was an environmentalist and one of the most famous photographers of nature. His body of work still stands as a testament to what he saw and there wasn’t Photoshop available when he did his photography. He did what I call true nature photography.  His landscape photography is so rich and magnificent, just to look through his lens and watch his process would be an honor.

If I could meet him I would love just to follow and question him one day, a day while he took pictures at Yosemite. To see his technique with lighting, angles, views… everything he did while questioning him the whole time. I know I would be more annoying, but, what a dream come true! 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)