About Hillary

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope that this is the beginning of a dialogue, a conversation, an engagement with the world to make things better. One important aspect of this idea is my business model. It works like this. Every time someone hires me to photography anything, I donate an equivalent photography service to someone or some organization who needs it. Every time. So, if you like my work and together let’s make it forward a little.

I’ve been making photographs for a long time. As a child, I had one of those great old Polaroid cameras, where you had to peel the image out of the paper and the edges were all zig zaggy and boxes of film came with a tube holding a tiny pink sponge which soaked in a fixative goo and had to be applied to the image to prevent fading. Everyone looked fat because I was small and shot the world looking up from underneath everything.

I went to college at SUNY Purchase where I was fortunate enough to study photography under the likes of Jed Devine, Jan Groover, John Baldessari and Janet Borden. I can’t even begin to describe how profoundly these amazing people influenced me. The lessons they taught me resonate today, perhaps more than ever.

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I have over 25 years experience finding the decisive, under-the-apparent-reality- moment and capturing it on film and in writing for international press, magazines, newspapers including the Boston Globe (where Jim Wilson changed my life with his kind teaching and mentoring), New York Newsday, The Daily News (these guys gave me the chance I was seeking, still so grateful to my cigar chomping editor!), LIFE Magazine (David Friend, what a mensch!), OAS Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor and agencies such as The Associated Press, AFP, and Gamma Liaison. I am forever grateful to William Albert Allard for his generous mentorship when I was a total newbie when he invited me to come to DC and to The Geographic with every picture I had and kept supporting me for years.

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My photographs are in private and public collections. One of my favorite moments was being an Artist-In-Residence for the Polaroid Corporation, which of course felt like I’d come round full circle, back to my photographic roots. They gave me unlimited access to as much Polaroid film as I could use. Dream. Come. True. I’ve created original and innovative advertising images for Leo Burnett, J Walter Thompson, and FCB etc.

Today my work is increasingly improvisational and contemplative in nature. I’ve been a regular meditator since 2005 and that has had a significant impact on my work. While I’m still interested in the decisive moment, that magic between subject and photographer, today I’m also interested in exploring issues of connection/disconnection, time, impermanence, interdependence no matter the subject matter. I want to see things as they are and find ways to represent them as such, as honestly and purely as possible. My heart still burns to share pictures with the world that reveal what we may prefer to turn away from but must not. Also, to share stories about all the good being done against all kinds of odds. Amazing people are out there, doing the heavy lifting to lift the burden, heal the wounds. I’d like to share and celebrate those things too. If you have connections, know of a story that needs to be told, please get in touch with me.

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This I believe: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

I also believe as Cartier-Bresson did, in technique and the ineffable. To shoot without thinking, that a good photograph is a result of an improvisation between the world and the photographer. One must put one’s whole heart and mind into play and see what comes. Whatever it is, that moment is sacred and will never come again. Making a photograph is a contemplative act, a spiritual practice.

I’m available for commissioned portraits, special events and documentary projects for media and the social good.

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