You're hooked when you can't get something out of your mind. For days, I could hear my animated high school literature teacher reciting Edgar Allan Poe's The Bells. The impressionable words rung out in my head, over and over again. Wow. Words are powerful.
After diving into great works of literature, including historical news articles and personal memoirs, I knew I too wanted to work in words. That same teacher suggested I join the school newspaper, and that's when I became a newsie.
After being co-editor of the high school publication, I went to on earn a degree in journalism at the University of Iowa. During my junior year, I landed a part-time job processing film for the photographers at The Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. One afternoon after the police scanner squealed the address of a structure fire and a hurried reporter asked me to join him to grab some shots, I was officially promoted to staff photographer. A few months later, on my twenty-first birthday, I had images picked up by the Associated Press for the first time. I went on to work full-time as a photojournalist at The Sioux City Journal and eventually became a features writer and photographer for several weeklies in the Midwest.
In 2009, I needed a change. My part-time weekend content marketing work soon became my passion and full-time focus. I'm now proud to say I've worked on campaigns for household brands including Purina, Walgreens, United Way, DiGiorno Pizza, Bounty and Colgate. I've even had photography bylines in TIME -- twice. I also write feature articles and a photography tips column for Club Traveler magazine.
Words still ring out in my head at all hours of the day. Writing, creating and storytelling is simply a way of life.