Annette started photographing her Cabbage Patch Kids with her Kodak Disc Camera in 1982 and has been in love with photography ever since.
She has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Photography and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
After college Annette worked as a newspaper reporter, most recently for the News & Record in Greensboro, North Carolina. She moved back to her hometown of Ottawa, Ill. in August of 2002 following her mom’s house fire.
Annette worked as a school portrait photographer with HR Imaging for two years, rediscovering her love of photography and eventually becoming the head photographer’s assistant. After surviving many junior high school picture days, among other assignments, she decided to strike out on her own.
The studio has been open since late 2004. Annette has been a Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America since 2011. In the fall of 2011 she began teaching Digital Photography at Illinois Valley Community College, where she enjoys working with students of all ages. Photography seminars also are offered through the studio.
Annette is passionate about using her gift to help others. Since 2005 she has been raising money for Pet Project, a local no-kill animal shelter, through a “cutest pet” contest. Contestants are photographed by Annette and then vie for the title of cutest by collecting $1 “votes.” In February 2015, after photographing two horses, one guinea pig, one rabbit, one chicken, four cats and 59 dogs – all in a threer-day period – more than $18,000 was donated to Pet Project. The top twelve winners are featured in a calendar each year, with proceeds of the sales going to the shelter as well. Annette currently serves as Pet Project President.
In addition to pets, Annette does enjoy helping people too. Since 2010 she volunteers twice a year with Flashes of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to photographing pediatric cancer patients and raising funds for children’s cancer research. Annette also has done several volunteer sessions for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Through NILMDTS, she provides remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby.
Annette continually finds inspiration in the world around her and especially in two of her favorite muses – her niece and nephew, Lena and Hunter.