My grandmother gave me a little Brownie for my seventh birthday. I put that camera to my eye and I was hooked. I have been making photographs ever since. My parents encouraged me to take my film to the corner drug store, buy new film, and charge it to their account.
When I passed my driver's test at age sixteen, the State of Missouri granted me permission to wander. I started on the fringes of my neighborhood, places I had been to with my parents. Add a camera to the mix and my world expanded and expanded and expanded: Route 66, Midwestern mill towns, the Mississippi. When I took on the Ozarks, my husband asked plaintively, "Can't you do a project closer to home?" "This is close to home," I replied.
As my world expanded, I learned that radom shooting is not productive. My work improves when I organize my images in a project. Once into a project, the more I learn about it, the better my images.
I learned from Charles Eames's toy House of Cards how to make simple, direct images.
And as a landscape photographer to break "the rule of thirds." It's always a puzzle
to decide just where the horizon in a landscape belongs, the top third or the bottom third.
Often I settle for the middle of the frame.
The National Endowment for the Arts granted me two fellowships, one for the work on Route 66 and the other for Midwestern Mills and Churches.
I grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Connecticut College, and went to Washington University School of Architecture. However, I was more interested in writing about architecture than practicing it. All through both schools, I was always taking pictures.
I am married to Barrie Scott, an architect. He is my best friend and my worst critic, for which I am grateful.
Barrie and I live in the mill town of Waterloo, Illinois, within sight of the St. Louis Arch, not far from Route 66, close to the banks of the Mississippi, and in the midst of the Illinois wheatfields. The Missouri Ozarks are, indeed, close to home.