I'm Monica and I was born and raised in the Panhandle of Texas! I am also deaf. Our wonderful Creator knew this was who I was to be and I would not change anything about my life because it led to me to where I am now and can't imagine a different life! I went to RIT in Rochester, NY then I ended up in Maine for a while. We did nothing but work then hiking in the forests and mountains, swimming in lakes, snowmobiling in the snow. I absolutely loved living there but the winters are insane! I moved back to Texas and had my babies. We eventually moved to West Texas where I started my photography business. I've loved growing my business there where we made many wonderful friends and I've built an incredible clientele base for 11 years now with some of the most amazing clients any photographer could ask for! It was definitely a learning experience in both my personal life and photography. I now reside and service the Austin Texas area! I am loving Austin so far and there is SO MANY gorgeous spots out here so it's been fun exploring here! I'm pretty laid back and tend to go with the flow so I usually don't have too much issues with communication if my clients are hearing. It is pretty much self explanatory most of the time during a session. I do use ASL so if you know any ASL, please don't be shy! <3

The story of a photographer

I've always been a photographer almost all my life. I was always buying these disposable cameras. I bought my very first camera at 9 years old. I'd develop so many prints that by the time I was 18, my bedroom walls were plastered with candid shots I took throughout my teenage years with my friends. I've bought so many cameras since then. Many of my old film cameras have found its place on my shelf full of vintage cameras. Life happened, had my babies and I wanted all the baby photos! I started to take my camera out more often and shooting my kiddos almost everyday. Then one birthday, a brand new fancy DSLR camera was gifted to me. Once I had that in my hands, photography took over again! I did all kinds of research and I was like a SPONGE learning everything I could possibly get my hands on about my new camera and photography in the digital world. It was so hard because back then nothing was ever accessible for me as a Deaf person. I had to teach myself. I read the camera manual front to back like a novel 2-3 times. I started following Deaf photographers and they inspired me so much. I took online classes, practiced everyday on my kids and everything I could find to photograph. It became this insatiable hunger to learn more and more and it was amazing. I was OBSESSED with it! Always dreaming and thinking about photography. Heck, I get all my creative ideas in my dreams!

Family started to ask me to do photos for them and slowly friends started to ask me and one day it hit me. I could do this for a living? It took so much courage to go full time at one point. Thinking back, I would never thought I would be able to do this for a living. Why? Because it was taboo back then when I first started almost 10 years ago. "That is not a very stable job", "you're deaf- how can you work with hearing people?", "You can't do it because there is already many HEARING photographers out there." they'd tell me. Good thing I didn't listen! Within 2 years of starting, I was a full time photographer with a growing clientele. That made me realize that I truly could do this for a living and then it took off from there! It's been an amazing journey and I wouldn't change anything about it. I have met so many people from all kinds of walks of life and many of them have become good friends of mine. That is one of my favorite part of this. :)

I am wanting to specialize a lot more in Boudoir photography because I absolutely love empowering women. Womanhood is so important to me because it is truly a village when there is zero competition and nor jealousy. It is where a woman can truly get in touch with her feminine energy and release it. It is one of the most beautiful thing in the world. I think it is literally the best thing that anyone can do for themselves. You truly can see the transformation. You see the GLOW UP. It's just awesome. I am a narcissistic/domestic violence survivor so I have learned many things about self love and self empowerment. I see the power in believing in yourself and your authenticity. I just want to share that with the world.

Photos by: Hello Darlin Photography- www.hellodarlinphotography.com