I grew up in Hatteras Village. My parents moved down just in time (a year or so before my birth) for me to be a local, a "Hatteraser". Growing up, I felt sheltered, loved, safe...but not lucky to live in such a beautiful place. There just wasn't enough to do. I was bored. My father was a commercial fisherman and my mother stayed home with me for the first part of my life, before working as a bookkeeper and then becoming one of the first people in North Carolina with a degree in biology to pass all four parts of the grueling CPA exam on the first try. I didn't appreciate either of them while I was growing up, but I certainly do now.
When I was small, my dad would often take me fishing with him. This wasn't charter fishing. It was hard, smelly work on a boat with no cabin and no bathroom. We'd leave before daylight (the middle of the night, to me). I'd go to sleep on the engine box where it was warm. He'd wake me up to watch the sun come up, and then I'd sleep some more. When I think back, I feel like I probably missed a lot while I was sleeping, growing up here. I don't think I really "woke up" to just how special and lucky I was to live in Hatteras until years later. I couldn't wait to go away to college at the University of North Carolina. I was never coming back here to live.
Long story short, my husband, Dan Johnson, who is Hatteras Island's undisputed top real estate agent, made one of his biggest sales when he convinced me shortly before graduation from UNC to move back to Hatteras. Twelve years later, we have a wonderful son and beautiful twin daughters, and a house at the end of a winding gravel road with porches all around and views that make me want to wake up in the morning.
I have always thought that I looked at the world "a little differently" from other people. I feel so blessed that photographing the amazing wildlife and ever-changing scenery of Hatteras Island has let me turn a feeling of "not fitting in" into a way to share my view of the world (or at least the Island where I live) with other people, and help them see things the way I do for a change. As I have grown and seen the changes and improvements in my art, I have seen changes in myself as well. I thank you for allowing me to share my views with you.
Most of the photos I have taken have come from the porches of my house. Some have come from the porches of other houses in the Village, some from the beaches that I can faintly see from the porches of my house. My entire family has been extremely supportive (my kids will wake me up to see the sunrise or a bird in the water if I happen to sleep late on the weekend), and I can truly say that my new business is a family effort. I hope you will enjoy my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.