My Photographic Journey

Photo by Talia Long

Photo by Talia Long

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to draw and paint. For many years watercolor and oil painting were my creative outlets. I was aware of photography and enjoyed viewing the work of great photographers, but  did not consider myself a serious photographer. Most pictures were of vacations or outings with friends. That began to change when I switched careers from printing to graphic design. Through graphic design, I began to understand the importance of photography and how it could convey a message, mood or thought very effectively. I also began to appreciate the different types of photography. Wedding, portrait, wildlife, street, photo journalism, etc….all have their own unique skill sets, and special place in the world of photography. I knew that I wanted to try to find a way to combine my love of print, fine art, design, and photography to create unique images that would resonate with people.

My true entry into the photographic world came in two ways. First, the purchase (thanks to my wonderful mother- in-law, Barbara) of a “big girl” camera, the Canon 5D Mark 2. Second, the graphic design firm I was employed at closed, and so after 35 years in the corporate working world, I was unemployed. Thanks to the support of my husband Joe, I was able to begin working full time from home building my portfolio, and learning my camera. It has taken several years to really immerse myself in photography, and grow to the point where I finally feel its time to start a website.

My husband makes all this possible, but I also have many photography friends to thank. They teach me, inspire me and encourage me to get out there and show my work to the public. I really began to network and meet other photographers thanks to Jason Gray and his Photoflood STL group ( From this group, I have met many friends, and it has helped me break out and see my city and surroundings in a whole new way. I am forever grateful for this.

Much of what I photograph is called abandonment or decay photography. I am fascinated with abandoned spaces and the stories they have to tell. I am fortunate to have a close knit group of friends to go exploring with and find these places. We all share a love of architecture and history so we try to document these buildings before they are gone forever. That being said, I do love nature -  it cant be grit and grime all the time, so I am happy to go off with friends who love nature and wildlife photography and recharge my emotional batteries. Photography has opened my eyes to the world around me – there is always a new subject around the next corner, and something new to learn. For that I am truly grateful.