1. What is something not too many people know about you?
I'm ridiculously short! People who know me in real life obviously know this, but it seems like such a surprise to most when I meet people in real life for the first time. AND I really love Karaoke and am always down to go regardless of alcohol consumption.
2. What are your biggest passions or hobbies?
I'm currently pretty obsessed with doing paint-by-numbers. I love to read and write, though I do the former much more than the latter. I also love to knit and sew. I'm basically an octogenarian living inside a 30-something's body.
3. What are your goals for the future?
I want to write a book, a novel or a memoir, or some combination of memoir/fiction. I want to take my wombruits to Europe for a summer. I want to see every US National Park. I'm currently working on growing my boudoir business (called &HELEN), aimed at helping women love the bodies they are in, no strings attached.
4. What is your definition of success?
Finding something you love and working your ass off at it. Success for me isn't about money or accolades or Instagram followers or "influence," though all of those things are great to have. Success is finding something you love to do and doing it. And then getting better and better at it. I finally felt successful as a photographer when I could look over my own body of work and find inspiration in what I created. That was so transformative and pivotal for me.
5. Tell us something about the projects you're currently working on.
It's January, which is typically my slowest month of the year, so currently I'm working on dreaming up my next big endeavor, and writing as much as I can. I'd love to travel to shoot a destination elopement this year (even better if it's in another country). I'd love to connect with more clients outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I'd love for more people to find my work and see themselves in it, or be moved by it. I'm not a photographer because I simply wanted to be an artist or wanted to make money. I'm a photographer because I'm a writer, and I found that I could beautifully tell other people's stories through my lens. I don't do trite. I don't do contrived. I don't aim to change anything about the subjects or locations I'm shooting, but rather seek to document real life and real people in an honest and vulnerable way. I think that is why my imagery speaks to people - it's rare. It's raw. And people want that. We are spoonfed fake every single day on social media, and when it comes down to it, I think we all want less perfect and more real. So this year, I hope to do more of exactly that for as many people as I can.