For this I blame my parents!

Carolyn and Sal rock 1973 

Carolyn and Sal rock 1973 

I've been working on developing a better looking website than I've had the past several years, and adding a travel blog. A creative portfolio of any kind is always a work in progress, and I love looking back through the years and seeing the creative changes I've made. I hope this new site is a reflection of the me that's here today.

My photography has certainly changed over time. Like hairdos and clothes that reveal the era in which they were made, the look of film also defined the times, and in 1973 the instamatic film quality added a very cool aquamarine tint to my photos. (Today, in the digital world, a VSCO filter recreates a similar look.) My technique has also improved as I've become more familiar and comfortable with each camera, and I grow more confident in myself as a photographer.

Some of the earliest photographs I took with my first camera are tucked away in photo albums, stuck like glue on those sticky plastic covered pages. I opened my first camera - a Kodak Instamatic with flashcubes - on Christmas morning when I was 8 years old. 

So I guess it's fitting that one of my first blog posts on this new site be about the reason behind my love of photography and travel, the ones responsible for their youngest child they call "the Gypsy" - my Mom and Dad. They were the ones who instilled the wanderlust I feel for travel and adventure. That's right, I officially blame them.

My father, much to my mother's dismay, always encouraged me to be daring and try new things - to jump off bridges (not that high, only about 30 feet!), raise your hand to volunteer (to hold that snake around my neck!), and always seek the adventure. My Mom on the other hand, passed her creative talents on to me. She always saw the artist in me, long before I had the courage to claim it.

They also gave me that first camera - they both worked long and hard to buy it for me and make the most amazing Christmases for me and my sisters. I often wonder what made them choose a camera for me - what signs had there been for them to choose that gift for me, and such an expensive one at that, for an 8 year old.

This throwback picture of my parents - Carolyn and Sal - has always been one of my favorites and was taken with that first camera in 1973.  And like all good parents, they're always my biggest fans :-) 

As long as I can remember (and this is a running joke, but I can remember back far more years than they think I can), we'd take a vacation to the beach, usually the Jersey shore, Wildwood, or all the way to Florida. My parents would awaken us at 4:30 am to give us Dramamine on an empty stomach, lay us in sleeping bags in the way, way back of the Country Squire station wagon (with wood paneling) and make the trip from NJ down I-95 to Florida. There were even smaller day trips throughout the summer - I remember a trip to the Lebanon bologna factory which I assume was in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where we got to see how "summer bologna", as we still call it, was made. Is that a treat or what! Traveling like we did at the time was a real luxury, though we were solidly middle class. We never stayed in luxurious places or ate in fancy restaurants. Morrison's Cafeterias were a favorite of ours, and the nicer restaurant was reserved for our last night of our trip. As I got older, I realized our vacations were probably as much for my parents as they were for us. I mean, they had four children (all girls, no less), and they both worked full-time jobs. They needed a vacation, or a drink, one or the other! But I honestly think that's who started it for me. Those trips became something I looked forward to every year, from the minute we got back from the one we were just on. 

So today, when it's become a little harder to jump off bridges and switch gears, I'm pushing myself outside my comfort zone again, and this new website should offer a glimpse into some new adventures, and a new chapter for me. 

Thanks again for the wanderlust, Mom and Dad. I wouldn't have it any other way!