Tell us what you do!
I’m the in-house photographer for Universal Music Group, where I produce album packaging, press, and concert photography for a huge roster of recording artists. I’ve been lucky enough to tour with Rihanna, shoot an album cover for Kanye, and make portraits of many developing artists on the label. I’m also building a film production company with my partner, Kenny, making short editorial movies on 16mm.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
I went to NYU, where I studied painting and photography.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
My kindergarten teacher once posed that same question as a drawing assignment, and my answer was, “I want to have 100 cats.” I have one now, so I’m on my way…
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
I was lucky to attend a progressive all-womens’ high school, which had a very strong arts program. We had a fully functional black and white darkroom, where I learned the ins and outs of analog photography from the ground up. From there, I took classes in color film processing and digital methods. Then, in college, I interned at Atlantic Records for two years under a photographer who would soon become my close friend, Andrew Zaeh. He really mentored me, and taught me everything about commercial photography — not just the technical stuff, but managing personalities, maximizing the parameters you’re given, and balancing a job (in a 24/7 industry) with your personal life. By the time my internship expired, we had built such a great system working together that we wrote a business plan and took it to Island Def Jam, which has morphed into my current position at Universal. The whole story seems to have been a weird combination of having talent and drive, but also meeting the right people at the right times who foster those talents and allow you to make your best work.
Any obstacles along the way?
Definitely that bit about balancing a career with a personal life. I’m not talking specifically about finding love, maintaining friendships, or having a family (which are, of course, struggles that everyone faces) – but about staying healthy and finding the time to sleep. I often hesitate to put my personal needs ahead of someone else’s, because on set and in production, I’m so used to accommodating literally everyone else before myself. I field so many requests from the three major labels within Universal (which is a good problem to have!), but have to reconcile that with saying “No” sometimes to afford myself an evening or weekend off.
Who is your idol?
Dana Scully from the X-Files — a woman in a male-dominated field who stays levelheaded under pressure, and also slays in a pantsuit.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Humor, empathy, and patience.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I’d love to be running my own business for still photography, motion projects, and production thereof. I do as much of that as possible on weekends as it is, in the hope that one day it’ll be a full-time reality!
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
A lady who aggressively and unapologetically seeks to actualize her ideas.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
I’ve been called a “glamorous goth” in jest, but secretly am okay with it.
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
I recently got a beautiful varsity jacket from Golden Bear, made of two-toned navy suede and wool. It’s extremely well-made, and perfect for fall weather.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Anastasia Brow Wiz. The brows are the windows of the face!
Go-to nail color?
Burgundy all the way.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Daphne du Maurier’s stories have been a huge influence on my personal photography.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
I do enjoy a stiff whiskey neat at the end of a long shoot.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
I’m a longtime fan of Jenny Lewis, and am in love with her new album, The Voyager. She has this dreamy, detached preciseness that hits me so hard.
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
I mean, there’s a reason so many people have answered this question with a Beyoncé track. I gotta say “Upgrade U.”
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” -Dolly Parton
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“It seems like you’ve already made up your mind, so blast ahead.” -My dad, any time I ask him for advice
Advice to future Girl Bosses:
Know your value, and don’t accept any less than what you’re due.
Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And, HEY — if you share this article, be sure to use #ImAGirlBoss!