About Me

Photography IS my life.

Updated January 14, 2023

Writing here today feels like coming home after having been away for far too long. It has been over 6 years since my last update on this page. My how time flies! After starting this project, and after a period of being a bit of a gypsy, I settled at the Outer Banks of North Carolina where I immediately fell in love with shooting the magnificent landscapes and wonderful wildlife that surrounds me. While I am still drawn to the kinds of images I have shared here in the past, I have found myself getting drawn into other projects over the years. For a time, I was obsessed with shooting reflections on water, capturing interesting patterns and colors that reflect off trees and boats and structures of various kinds. I even had a solo exhibit of that work several years ago. Then it was motion blurs, capturing what look like impressionist paintings of trees and people. Currently my obsession is capturing the details in breaking waves that are not visible with the naked eye. All of these projects can be seen on my Flickr account.

I work full-time as a photographer now, a life I absolutely love and a dream come true. During the spring, summer and fall months I do outdoor markets, juried shows, and festivals where I sell my work. I have been hired to do work for websites and events. I have done three commercial installations for a hospital chain in Virginia, providing large canvases for medical office buildings. My work has been published in the book Embracing Life As It Is: Lessons from Wabi Sabi, Haiku and Zen. I am a member of a wonderful artists cooperative gallery where I sell my prints, framed pieces, and images on canvas and metal.

Even after all these years, I feel like I still have so much more to learn and so much more that I want to do with photography! It has been an exciting and rewarding journey.

Thanks for visiting. CJ

Photography has changed my life.

Updated Sept 28, 2016

… and the journey continues to amaze me! It’s hard to believe it has been four years since I bought my first “big girl” camera, one that I just recently sold to a budding enthusiastic amateur nature photographer. I knew he would be hooked just as I was! I have bought several other cameras since that D3100 and now shoot mostly with a Nikon D610 and a Nikon D7100.  My work has been shown in a growing list of galleries in North Carolina and Virginia and I will be venturing out more in 2017 on the art show circuit. Click here for my event page. 

Thanks for visiting my site. I hope you are inspired to see the world around you in new ways.


(Original post)

I have always enjoyed taking pictures but now I can honestly say that I am beyond passionate about photography.  In the fall of 2012, after a particularly difficult transition in my life, I made the decision to purchase my first big girl camera, a Nikon D3100, and to learn about “real photography”.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and by far the best therapy I have ever experienced.  I wake up each and every morning now eager to discover the little surprises that I may be able to capture as I go about my day.  There is always something new to shoot and something more to learn about my camera, about photography, and ultimately about myself.

I rarely go anywhere without my camera now.  It is the best companion I could ever ask for.  It keeps me entertained and engaged, it offers me new challenges and adventures and it helps open my eyes to all the beauty that surrounds me.  It gives me great joy to be able to capture and share that beauty with others.

I have often said that things happen for a reason. I firmly believe that everything that happened prior to the purchase of my camera had to happen to get me to this place.  Even all the terrible painful experiences brought me to these moments filled with joy and inspiration.  Photography has truly changed my life in ways I never could have imagined just a year ago.

While I shoot a wide variety of subjects, I have found that I am drawn to certain types of images.  Those are the ones I share here on this site.  I am not quite sure why I am so captivated by these types of images, whether it says something about my soul, whether it has to do with having spent part of my childhood in Southeast Asia, or what it is that draws me to such places.  I see these images as an interesting collaboration of Mother Nature, Father Time and mankind, who all joined together to produce something lovely.  To me anyway.

More of my photography can be seen on flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/cjnewlife12/ and also on www.5280LensMafia.wordpress.com.

I am currently working on making my photography available for purchase.    Stay tuned for more info!

Thanks for visiting my site.


15 thoughts on “About Me

  1. meticulousmick says:

    I think photography helps one to see beauty in the world. Glad to see it is giving you a new lease of life. Thanks for coming over to my own site and liking the post ‘Green Door Contrasts’ and when looking at your own site I can see why this one might appeal. Try also taking a look at ‘Abandoned’. Like you I am shooting what I like and at present am not into being pigeon-holed. Have a good weekend and thanks for th elite – why not follow too. MM 🍀

    • cjnewlife12 says:

      Thank you so much MM! I am flattered by your nomination! I have added an Awards/News page to my blog – check it out!
      Best to you

  2. geanieroake says:

    May I just say that I LOVE your pictures. I’m so glad I found this blog. Your photo’s have kind of a rustic, country, cozy, antique (is that enough adjectives for ya?) feel about them. Why don’t you make a calendar. I’d buy it.

    • CJ Newlife says:

      I am working on some products now – calendars, books and greeting cards. I will let everyone know when I have them ready for purchase. Thanks for stopping in and looking at my images!

  3. garden98110 says:

    We are pleased to have found your photos and look forward to seeing more. Of course is everything before brings us to now, then what is now is more later. Grist for polishing the mirror of the soul. On our journey in the Healing Garden, there is practice. And more practice. – The Healing Garden gardener

  4. pkphotooftheday says:

    It was a pleasure visiting your blog. I like your “About” because it really shows your depth of feeling about photography. I love the subjects you choose. Keep up the good work.

  5. Mary Kendall says:

    I just found your blog and have loved going through your pictures. You have a real talent for capturing things that ordinary people (e.g., me!) would never see in an ordinary object. I’m not a good picture taker, but I do appreciate what a good artist or photographer brings to us all.

  6. Tom Clausen says:

    Delighted to read of your discovery of photography as a passion and to see the beautiful wabi sabi- eye of the beholder photos you have presented. I am very much drawn to very similar images… anything weathering away and being gradually transformed is what I love looking for. So glad I found your site! Looking forward to following your wonderful photos.

    • CJ Newlife says:

      Tom – I am so sorry I missed this comment before. It has been a very busy year for me and I am just getting back to my beloved Wabi Sabi Images project. I hope you will continue to follow me in my photographic journey! CJ

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