GB Otie Me Jarmers.jpg

Art was woven into me at a young age.  My beloved grandmother was an incredibly gifted artist (she painted, played the piano and wrote beautifully) and gave me a set of oil paints when I was a very little girl (which I believe I proceeded to smear onto undesignated surfaces).  I was always drawing and making stuff that my poor mom had to stick onto the refrigerator.  Graduating from Naples (Florida)High School in 1978, I went off to art school in Seattle, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and then finally Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, CA.  Majoring in Fine Art and Writing, I'd never really thought about photography (although I did own a Kodak Instamatic with the revolving flash cube on top).  Shortly after college, I acquired a nice 35mm camera which inspired me to start shooting a lot; I eventually landed in Vermont and apprenticed under several amazing photographers, eventually starting my own business in 1990.   It was a fabulous place to work and live but after 23 years, I decided I was 'done being cold' and moved back home to Naples. 

Animals are one of my greatest passions, especially dogs and especially, Newfs.  I've volunteered my photography services to shelters and at various events for years in efforts to help the countless creatures find their forever-homes (risky business as I want to adopt them all).  I love to do what I call "A Day in the Life" shoot---going to someone's home, farm or a favorite walking/play location and capture the relationship between you and your dogs, horses and kitties as naturally as possible.  I'm not a 'pose in front of the blue backdrop' kinda' girl.  It's a great honor to be invited into someone's life to create memories that you will cherish forever.  We live in a digital world but I am still a huge believer in LOTS of real images on the walls...big ones!  I've been privileged to photograph hundreds of portraits, weddings, animals and special events; photography will forever-be my first-love.

I now live in beautiful Minnesota with the love-of-my-life, Jeff.   In 1979, his cousins (who happened to be my closest friends), decided to introduce us while we were both down in Naples in between college semesters, certain that we'd hit it off (both being artsy/camera-nutty/long-haired types) and they were right!  Our first date was a sunset-watch at the beach (where we snapped photos that are now very significant) and the second, to my favorite restaurant.  Amazingly enough, that was it as we went back to school in other states and 'did our lives'.  Thirty-six years later, at the family's 2014 Thanksgiving extravaganza in Naples, we re-met and it was sparky all over again.  After several months of handwritten letters, mile-long emails and phone visits, I flew up to Minneapolis for Valentine's Day, not knowing that my life would be forever-changed (and that I'd be living up north again!)  But what a gift we've been given and guess what---Jeff's as crazy about dogs and photography as I am!  We now share a love and fur-filled life with our three Landseer Newfoundlands, Otis, Hagrid and Barney, Sasha the English Cocker and two chubby cats, Bevis and Chuck (all included in my gallery, of course).  Jeff and I are getting married on the beach this October and just can't wait...if only the dogs could walk me down the aisle!