Art History (BMC)
What is your current job?
Style Editor for The Miami Herald's two lifestyle magazines, INDULGE and Palette. Palette is for the LGBT community so I produce fashion/shopping pages for both men and women. INDULGE is a luxury city guide so I produce shopping/trend pages focusing on fashion and home markets with all items being available in stores in Miami. In addition, I style photo shoots and give general Style/Visual input to the Editor In Chief.
I also do freelance photo shoot styling on a selective basis as I have two young children.
Why did you choose this profession?
I have always had an interest in magazines and photography. I went to Haverford knowing that I would study photography and dreamt of being a fashion photographer like Richard Avedon! I had taken classes in high school and it was something I was interested in pursuing professionally. With the guidance of the highly skilled and patient (!) William Williams, I learned a great deal about composition and sequencing and graduated with a portfolio of portraiture mostly. I got my first job in New York at Martha Stewart Living magazine from a Haverford alumnus—Douglas Brenner was the Editor in Chief and I sent him a letter with my resume. I worked at Martha Stewart for three years and found that I really enjoyed working with photographers to create the sets for photography and become a stylist instead. I spent another 4 in New York working at Real Simple and Opraha's home magazine—O at Home working as the in-house stylist (or Style Editor) for both publications. I moved back to Miami in 2008 and worked freelance until I started working for The Miami Herald publications.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I am at a very happy place with my career—I am able to work from home and focus on my two young boys (3 1/2 and nearly 1 year) and I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do. I am able to work on my own time and find that I have a great work/life balance. I do fewer photo shoots these days as a result. When my children are older I anticipate that I will probably be able to take on more work, but as of now my plate is full without feeling like either my role as an Editor or as a mother suffer.
My husband is also a high-end residential builder and we are in the process of building a home that he designed- we would like to keep designing and building houses together and selling them, so I can see my career taking on that as well!
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
I think its important to be attuned to the big picture and have an understanding of what is happening in your chosen industry. In 2008 I had been in New York already 7 years and was realizing that downsizing in publishing was only going to get worse. With online content and the advent of social media, the publishing industry just couldn't continue to be the way it once was. I decided to leave New York and move back to Miami, a less expensive city—which happens to be where I am from—and it turned out to be the best move I made. The economy as we all know tanked, and I was able to ride out the tough years diversifying my portfolio and taking whatever work I could get. It led to connecting with local photographers and through word of mouth I was hired by the (then new) magazine INDULGE, which has led to a change in my role as an editor- I now work to produce visual content in a totally different way. I love the work that I do now much more than when I only did photo shoot production, which can really be grueling.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
Haverford was instrumental in my career as I learned so much from my Fine Arts critiques to handle the criticism that comes from being a creative professional. You have to balance caring about your work and wanting it to be good, but you also can't take your work super personally and need to learn to consider the many points-of-view that come with being a creative professional. I learned to defend my point of view and articulate myself with confidence about what I was trying to achieve with an idea or image—and that is very important. I also got my first publishing job through the alumni connection!