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about me...

I grew up in front of the camera with Europe as my backdrop. My father was always capturing memories of my mother, my sister and myself with his Yashica 35mm rangefinder camera. I am pretty sure I can blame him for instilling this need to take photos and capture every moment...once I had a point and shoot camera, I had it with me always.  In highschool I found myself in front of the camera again, having friends that were in photography class. This began my love affair with photography and all its elements. In 1998 I bought my first SLR film camera and began to record life with the click of the shutter.

In college I learned the technical and artistic angle of photography through darkroom printing, film processing, medium and large format cameras and alternative process, and recieved my Bachelor in Fine Art degree in 2001. . With much hesitation, in 2005 I bought my first DSLR camera and began my journey into digital photography. Although I shoot primarily digital now and love it... I still dabble in film and will always, always LOVE the quality, the essence and the nostalgic feel of film.

My children both had Infant Survival Swim lessions with a wonderful swim instructor and now friend (Katja of Kinder Swim, Inc.).  When my daughter was young and going for her maintenance lesson, Katja asked me (knowing I was a photographer) if I had ever thought about shooting underwater... up until that point I really had not thought about it as I do not dive or do any deep sea swimming, but I do LOVE and have always loved being in and around the water so this sparked an interest in my mind!!  I had to try it... I invested in a small bag type housing to try it out and the first time I went under with my 4 year old daughter as my little model, I was instantly HOOKED and OBSESSED with the world of underwater photography. It's so different, fun and always changing, literally and figuratively fluid! Now over 9 years later and a bigger, better housing investment, I am still obsessed with it and having so much fun capturing kids and families in and around the water.

I am blessed with a wonderful husband who supports my photography and two beautiful children that are my world. I absolutely love what I do, I am obsessed with photography and feel so lucky and blessed to do what I love!!! I feel honored and humbled to be invited into people’s lives to help tell their story... to record their fleeting moments, to hold onto forever.  

Photograph by Renee Stengel Photography