If you've got the time check out how I picked up photography -- stage right -- in Act II of my life.
I like to think of myself as a globe-trotter. Born and raised in El Paso until I was 11, I followed my family to Bethesda, Maryland as a middle-schooler. I had a wonderful childhood complete with mischief, mayhem and messiness. I didn't relish school and never thought I'd go to college. But ultimately I did go to University of Maryland and ended up with not one but two degrees.
Photo by http://xantheberkeley.pass.us/gatherTina Case
During my Sophomore year I lived in Taipei, Taiwan. For 12 months I lived with a Chinese family and immersed myself in the culture, language - and apparently the food. I gained 15 pounds. Guess my degree in Asian Art History was useful in the culinary arts. After graduating *yo* Summa Cum Laude, I got a job with Pan Am World Airways as a
stewardess flight attendant aka sky waitress. That is where my love of travel became an obsession. Life in the sky took its toll with my then boyfriend. After a trip to Africa I handed in my wings and apron and went back to U of MD where I got a second degree in Computer Science. I graduated *yay* Magnum Cum Laude and landed a job with Hewlett-Packard in Rockville, Maryland. That's where I would meet my future husband. One hot and humid summer day in D.C., it took 15 seconds from the front door to the short walk to my car and my clothes were plastered to my skin and my carefully straightened hair frizzed out. That's when I thought, "Why not get a transfer to California?"
With my then boyfriend we packed up our belongings and became bonafide Silicon Valley geeks. Our new geek life included a year in Europe where we lived in Amsterdam with our 2 year old daughter. After a year we return to the Valley, had two more daughters and I spent another decade with HP and became fluent in SANs, WANs and pixels. But one day a bolt of lightning struck as I sat in my cubicle. I realized life at HP wasn't what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Serendipitously (my favorite word) a golden parachute landed on my desk. I was offered a voluntary $everance package. I grabbed the key to my golden handcuffs and fled my corporate dungeon. I took a year figuring out what I would do next. I volunteered at my children's school and took on the role of President of our non-profit education foundation. I took over as General Contractor to remodel our home to make room for my mom after my dad passed away. I read books, watched a lot of Oprah and became mesmerized by THE SECRET. Then one fateful day my husband suggested I go into photography. He met a guy at a business meeting who ran a company called Picateers. Doug thought my technical and artistic background would be the perfect fit. And so it was.
Koa and the BunniesKoa and the Bunnies
Today I split my time between corporate and commercial assignments and family portraiture. I work with a number of venture firms including KPCB, Meritech Capital and Sofinnova Ventures. I freelance for The San Francisco Chronicle where my experience in the culinary arts has come in handy with food assignments. I love to eat my work from CookApp and Wingman, where I got my start with Food Photography. I just landed a new gig at Montalvo Arts Center as Photographer-in-Residence where I profile the Lucas Artists in Residency Fellows. Plus a passion of mine is pet photography that started because a photo of our Golden, Koa, went viral. If you Google "Koa and the Bunnies" you'll see it traveled as much as I do.
I deeply believe the importance of giving back. I volunteer my time as a photographer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a cause close to my heart after my big brother passed away in 2011. I am an advocate for the homeless in San Jose and recently became certified as a photographer for A Little Rae of Hope.
Volunteer Photographer for PanCan.OrgVolunteer Photographer for PanCan.Org All in all, photography has not only become a passion, it has become a way of life. I love what I do and do what I love. I'm truly blessed.
Name: Tina Case
Other names: Tinabarina, mommy, mama, Tin Tin, T
Shoot: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 5D Mark ii, Canon 80D
Edit: MacBook with Lightroom and Photoshop. Also Arcsoft Portrait Plus.
Favorite ice cream: Trader Joe's Vanilla
Most interesting place I’ve lived: Taipei, Taiwan
Most interesting place I’ve worked: Pan Am World Airways
One of the most famous persons I photographed: Eddie Redmayne uh-huh. Oh and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Favorite saying: “Helloooo?” (my kids hate it)
Pizza: Pepperone and mushroom. But no one in my family likes mushrooms so it's always just pepperone.
Education: Enough - plus school of Hard Knocks
Favorite lens: 70-200mm
Motto: Do what you love and the money will follow
Secret talent: I can do the splits
Best vacation spot: Sydney, Australia
Husband: Extrovert to my Introvert
Often heard saying: Clean Up.
Best job ever: Taking pictures.