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Nyssa A Calkin

Born in the Philippines and raised in upstate NY, it was after graduating highschool that I received my first 35mm SLR back in the day when film was dissipating from the scene. I got to experience the joy of the darkroom before the majority of colleges and universities removed film from the curriculum for photography majors. Though my interest was sparked by nature photography (primarily marine life) like many other photographers, it wasn't long before I grew open to photographing people.

After years of debating where I would prefer my specialties to lay, It was particularly boudoir photography that caught my eye. There's something about the relationship a woman has with their own body that I find intriguing. While a vast majority are far from happy in their own skin, I had seen some cases in which I couldn't understand where the insecurities had come from. I recall one in particular that made me decide to push forward in boudoir when the time was right.

After working in animal care and assisting in dog training, I became more familiar with the mannerisms of canine and equine animals. I began to photograph the foster dogs we trained at the facility. Many of which came from the NYC ACC where they were at high risk of never making it out alive. While the training helped prepare them for their new homes, the images were a useful resource for social networking the rescue dogs. Adding pet photography to my repertoire only seemed natural at that point. I have since become aHeARTs Speak™ and Joy Session® photographer. 


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Ariana Gonzalez

Born and raised along the beautiful Delaware River and in the breathtaking Catskill Mountains in Upstate NY/Northeast PA, I found an appreciation for the beauty of the world at an early age. Being legally blind in one eye, I also have a unique perspective of the world. I have always felt that I see the world a bit differently than others, but I have found that to be a great strength, oppose to a handicap.

As a child, I always had an interest in photography, but it wasn't until high school that I was able to study the subject and learn more. I bought my first SLR film camera, and from that moment I was hooked. Every penny I had, which wasn't much as I was in high school, went to film and developing photos. My camera became my best friend and went with me everywhere. Another great inspiration to me was, and still is, my close friend and photography mentor, Nyssa Calkin of DCI. To this day, I am grateful and inspired to have someone who shares my passion for photography and can help guide me as I continue to learn.

I have yet to attend college or formally study the art, but the road has become my school of art and life. Beginning in 2010, I have been traveling countries in Central America. It is here that I am able to combine my two passions, photography and culture. My favorite things to photograph are nature and people. The surreal views and loving souls I am constantly surrounded by and introduced to on the road have provided a wealth of subjects for my art. In the future, it is my goal to travel to other countries and see more of the world's beauty through my eye and my lens.

To view Ariana's personal projects, visit : Ariana's Gallery

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