Basically my life story...
Thanks for stopping in! I'm April, a native Marylander who grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. I live with my husband and 4 children on Persimmon Lane Farm in Owings, Md. My journey to becoming a photographer has been a lifelong one.
As a child, my siblings teased, "MOM FOUND YOU IN A DUMPSTER!" Naturally, I didn't believe a word they said, but I couldn't help feeling a void because, why weren't there any baby photos of me? Too young to understand poverty, the truth was, my parents couldn't afford a camera, much less film and processing. So, as a child I learned to value and cherish what few photos there were of me. Captured moments were rare, but meaningful. And I know it might sound cliche, but I am certain that the lack of my own baby photos in some weird way lead to my lifelong passion for photography.
As I grew older and my parents became more financially stable, cameras were more obtainable. In that, I had moved on to a new photographic obsession; making awful faces at the camera! When I say awful, I mean like the crossed-eyes and tongue-stuck-out kind of bad! This went on for several years until I was finally pulled aside and reprimanded by my Grammy and harshly reprimanded for it. To this day it embarrasses me to think about her words, You RUIN every family photo!" Ouch...but, she was right! I miss her dearly! She passed away in September 2019, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt her influence helped shape who I have become.
As a teen, my friends and I played with Polaroids; all the rage back then. I enjoyed photographing things like zoo animals and (embarrassingly) red roses. You'd find it comical to know I have dozens of old flamingo photos (for no good reason) and they are all terrible. As I dove deeper into photography, I did school projects that centered around my passion. I once created a slideshow for a school project featuring the song, "What a Wonderful World", by Louis Armstrong. I always get a big smile when I hear it, and ironically, my little boys love the song. Sidenote: if you ever get a chance to hear a 2 year old sing "What a Wonderful World" do yourself a favor and listen.The boys are a lot older now, but of course I've got the video to prove it happened.
In my early 20's I had my first child, which grew my obsession with photography. I know dozens of great photographers who first picked up a camera because of their children. For me it began earlier, but his life regenerated my fondness for the art. It was around this time that I also began to expand my creative knowledge by using Adobe Photoshop. I designed websites for fun using PS and Dreamweaver, and I even designed a photographers website, which makes me laugh because it's pretty terrible from today's standards. I continued to take photographs, ...I took roll-after-roll of film. In 2000 I purchased my very first digital camera! It was a Kodak DC3200 and it shot 1 megapixel; ONE! For reference, most digital cameras these days shoot upwards of 30 megapixels! We sure have come far from one megapixel though! Shortly after the start of the new Millennium, I had my second child - a daughter, and I continued to [point and] shoot, which brought us into the cell-phone era.
By 2009 I had gone through about 7 point and shoot cameras; I was constantly buying new ones! I finally decided to invest in my first DSLR; which at the time was pretty magical. It was a crop-sensor Canon (XTI which is a dinosaur now), but I still shoot it every now and then because it's nostalgic and kinda like having an old friend around! It wasn't anything special by any professional standards, but I took about 500 photos that first day, and I was hooked. I photographed Sunrises, Water, Ducks, Dogs, People, Butterflies, Skies, Clouds, Cars, Mountains, Babies, Flowers; you name it, I photographed it! I was constantly receiving encouraging words on my photos, but I never, ever thought I would go very far with my passion because I had fear on my side. My biggest regret in life was that I didn't believe in myself sooner. I was also taking dozens of photos a day on my iPhone, and it turns out this camera-phone fad wasn't fading any time soon.
That brings us to now, I've divorced, remarried and settled down with the love of my life Justin. We had two little boys (#3 and #4 for me) and live on this quiet little 5 acre farm in Owings, Md. Together we raise 4 wonderful children; three sons and a daughter! I'm immensely proud of my family, and the life we have built together. ; We've had so many crazy adventures including the birth of our two younger boys, born at 29 weeks (they're little NICU warriors!) My husband will concur that we haven't lived a single boring day since we met! To be honest, I prefer it that way. My family, my Photography Business, and my faith help keep me young, witty and motivated and I count my blessings every day that I'm living the life that I am.
TL:DR (Too long; didn't read!) I have loved art and photography my entire life. I've been shooting with a DSLR for 10 years, and have about 20 years experience with Photoshop! I rely on Lightroom for overall photographic edits and Photoshop for the hard stuff! I'm the mom of 4 amazing children and my husband and I live on a not-so-huge-farm in Owings, Maryland. Oh, and I'm a hyper-perfectionist (which is a word I just made up right now) but I've yet to refer to myself as perfect so that's inspiring. <3 I love to cook, garden, paint, sew and contruct things out of wood. I'm not afraid of powertools either.
If you've made it this far, thank you! I look forward to working with you!
The Farm at Persimmon Lane
Persimmon Lane is home; my home. It's mud-pies, tire swings, and tree climbing. It's the place where my boys (and girl) run and play; it's where we call home. You can regularly witness our Golden Retriever mutt (named Fetch) chasing squirrels or Ruby, our Aussie, catching (or should I say attempting to catch) a Frisbee. If you've been here for a photo session, you know that my cats, Tom, Lucky, or little Hobbes hang around and greet everyone with a meandering curiosity. During the summer, you'll find my husband on his mower. With 5 acres, it's quite the hobby for him. I love planting flowers and laying in the hammock every chance I get! Occasionally we will sit around the bonfire and do absolutely nothing...and if I'm honest - I live for those moments with my family because like most busy large families, those moments are few and far between. Psst...we've also had a few small weddings here (it's one of our best kept secrets and it's a gem of a location!)
This farmhouse, built in 1920, felt like a pipe dream. We never thought we would find an affordable gem of a home in such a sweet, loving, generous community. We searched and searched for a home with a "bigger yard" and spent 3 years tirelessly looking at homes in planned neighborhoods. Our plan got derailed twice when our two youngest boys were both born at 29 weeks - Eighteen months apart. Still, we held onto the dream of "a house with a bigger yard" and eventually we found our path. We always wanted neighbors, but also craved space for our kids to run and play, so the minute I saw this home, I just knew it was meant to be. I fight back tears every time I think about it. If you know about Justin and I, you know that we spend a lot of time sprucing up the property and home to make it our own. We cherish our home and I am always proud to welcome my clients to share a little piece of our happiness when they visit. If you want to take a deeper dig into our renovations and see what we've accomplished here at Persimmon Lane, you can join this Facebook Group. I wanted a simple way to upload photos to share.
The final thing you should know about Persimmon Lane is that living here inspired me to finally take the leap of faith to “officially” become a photographer; though I’ve held a camera in my hand ever since I can remember. I am still constantly in awe of the beauty of this place. From the red sun-faded barn, long sprawling white fences and a tall line of trees skirting the property - it's the epitome of home. In early spring, we have a 10 foot wall of bright yellow forsythia bushes blooming, followed by cherry blossoms that softly drape the setting sun. We have a Weeping Willow tree (with a family of owls who live in it), 3 tire swings and a Sycamore tree that has a base as large as a truck! You can frequently see deer, groundhogs, wild turkeys and Red Hawks on the property! The horse pastures tumble over with millions of buttercups in spring, and there are spots on the property that are just waiting to be discovered. It's a place of wonder, and you'll never get scurried away like at a local park, we can take as long as we need. I’m excited to explore creative possibilities and my favorite part is meeting new friends along the way, so welcome to our home.