Reflecting on the past year of my business and all of the exciting things that have happened, I realized how many amazing things have happened throughout my career that I have forgotten about. I compiled a short list of things that I thought might be interesting and little known facts about yours truly as 2015 will be my 20th year as a professional photographer. Enjoy!
15. When I entered college I wanted to be the photo editor for the school paper. When my advisor called that summer to welcome me to the Communications program at Rider University I told her I wanted to be a photo editor and asked how we could make that happen. She thought I was arrogant and a little aggressive (she told me this upon graduation) but wouldn’t you know that a month after starting college the current photo editor stepped down and yours truly got a half tuition scholarship at 18 years young. True story.
14. There are very few photos of me growing up because I HATED my picture taken. (I know considering how there are so few photos of me now) SO I don’t have that many photos of my childhood and it makes me sad.
13. I’ve won over 22 awards for my photography over the years. I’m pretty proud of that including this one from earlier this year when I won the ISES Gala Award for “Best Event Photography”
12. In 2002 I had my first book published entitled “Dialogue 3” It was a three part compilation of people and personalities, scenic landscapes and my coverage of the tragedy of 911. Originally the book was supposed to be solely on 911, but at the time I was not comfortable doing that so we decided to make the book a little more varied.
11. I used to freelance for the New York Times. yes, it’s true. My first 11 years of my career I was a photojournalist and my dream was to be able to do work for the NYT. In 2002 I was actually in a tanning booth when the editor called and decided I was ready to do some work for them. It was so exciting!
10.I fell in love with photography because of The Brady Bunch. Yep, it’s true. Watching that beloved show many moons ago there was an episode where Greg used a photograph to correct a wrong call during a football game. I was hooked.
9. My business used to be called Chiarascuro Photography. For many years studying art history I LOVED that name, but in 2012 when I rebranded, I needed something different that was easier to spell and understand. Can anyone tell me what Chiaroscuro actually means? Brownie points for you. But VeroLuce Photography was born in 2012 combing the beginning of my name “Vero” for truth and “Luce” means light in Italian.
8. I’ve worked with many celebrities, but one of my favorite experiences ever was talking with Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC about how the collaboration with Aerosmith all went down. it was a private conversation with just 2 other people in the room and his story was amazing. You can listen to it here. Don’t judge my poor video skills. And yes, I got to wear the hat 🙂
7. I stupidly turned down an opportunity to photograph the New York Yankees in 2002 for the NYT because it was raining. I have no excuse, I was an idiot. Let’s not remind myself of that one.
5. I coach and mentor other photographers. I don’t talk about it too much, but I love teaching and helping others reach their full potential. I’ve been teaching at Brookdale Community College since 2008 and hosting photography workshops since 2007, but I have taken it a step further with one on one sessions. What a better way than to help budding photographers and even some more experienced ones find their path and rekindle their passion. It’s pretty rewarding to say the least.
4. I ran my own networking group for 4 years. I love connecting people and helping business of all types grow. Each month I hosted an event where professionals from any industry could connect in a casual and fun environment.I loved watching people make business happen. I stopped in 2012 but I feel like I may need to rekindle this passion of mine. Hmmmmm
3. I have an antique camera collection that I love. I started it about 13 years ago and each year I manage to find some new ones to add to it and make me smile. I think I have almost 20 cameras at this point. My new office is going to have some custom shelving built to showcase my collection.
2. I am self taught. My degree is actually in journalism (with a history minor) I originally wanted to be a sports writer. But I ended up being much better with a camera than a pen. My first class was in my senior year of high school and it was during that class that I knew I wanted to be a photographer. But I was already accepted into college and they didn’t have a designated photography program. No worries, I just worked for the school paper, yearbook and the college photographer to get some experience. My photography break came in winter of 1995 when I was shadowing some photographers at The Trentonian and my photo got used on the front page over the staff photographers photo. Three months later they offered me a part time job. This was another cover photo I had about a year later.
1. I cut class in 1996 at college to attend the Million Man March in Washington. My photos of that event were Rider University’s first ever solo art exhibit. But my most treasured image of all time is the one I took of Rosa Parks. I ran the entire length of the mall (Washington Monument to the Capital) and pushed my way to the front lines to see her being pushed away after speaking. I was shooting film at the time and only took two frames. One was completely obstructed, but this was the winner.