I'm Siena.

A Californian-born Virginian who’s in love with her camera and the people behind it.

& slanting, dusky light. & crisp images. & emotion (too much sometimes). 

In fact, I probably overuse the word, but I’m in love with a lot of things:

Music, color, and mochi.

Swing dancing.

Writing lengthy, dramatic entries in my journal. 

That time of night when everything suddenly becomes hilarious.

My always-bustling home, my parents, and four younger siblings.

A God who knows my name and my every need.

And to the core, I'm a girl in love with the stories I get to hear as I shoot. I'd be honored to listen to yours. Want to try and document a snippet of it together? Let's talk.

Why I shoot.

My family has an old cabin up in the California foothills that we used to visit on the weekends. My siblings always scrambled out of the van to their many forts-in-progress or the swing. I would sink into the wrinkled, leathery lounge chair in the back corner and pore over a National Geographic magazine.

I was an avid reader, but at the cabin, it wasn’t words that I came for. It was the pictures. Pictures from Kenya and Milan, New York and Antarctica, Moscow and Vienna. They weren’t the kind you’d find in an old high school yearbook or a science journal. These pictures were alive. In them, people looked like people – imperfect and beautifully blemished – and the world they lived in was the same as mine. I could connect with each picture, taken from every corner of the earth except my own, more than forty years before. 

These days, you can probably find me stumbling out of George Mason Regional Library with a precarious armload of photography books. Opening the car door never fails to be a feat. Someday I'll pull it off smoothly. Once home, I love studying famous photographers and photographs of the past for hours.

One of my favorites is the book Moments, a collection of Pulitzer prize-winner images. These photographers worked wonders. Part of the magic of their photos came from having been, as frenzied news reporters and journalists say, “in the right place at the right time.” It’s true. They found remarkable scenes and subjects to shoot. But equally important, if not more, was their ability to combine those elements to tell a story. Anyone can hold a camera. I’ve taught multiple wriggly three-year-old cousins to use my DSLR effectively. But it is rare to be able to convey emotion through a picture. 

All these years of studying photographs have cumulated into an ever-growing desire to master this skill. 

I love my job. I get to meet someone new at every session. I get to listen to stories. Make people laugh. Use an art form I adore to bring people joy. And - which makes me beyond excited - I get to learn more with every session about how to capture real people and their stories in my pictures.

I'm just getting started.