At a glance …

I have two beautiful daughters. I think they teach me more than I’m teaching them. I require coffee.

I love sunrises. And hot air balloons. And rainbows. These images are from my Instagram feed. I also love Instagram.

My story …

I grew up on a farm in Iowa. It taught me the importance of hard work. It trained me to wake up early and to work late. It helped me to appreciate the outdoors – even if it meant working in blazing heat or wading through snowdrifts. We also raised animals – all types of animals – and caring for them taught me to be gentle and quiet.

I read a lot as a young adult. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I loved getting lost in the stories. I loved that words and the intricacies of how they were written could wring emotion out of the reader.

When I went to college, I chose journalism and mass communication as my major. The combination of meeting new people, writing, research and storytelling appealed to me. Along the way, I got a job in marketing for a non-profit organization, which meant wearing a lot of hats – event planner, promoter, designer, spokesperson, photographer. While marketing was my career, I think that’s where my love of photography and telling a story through images began.

Becoming a mom changed everything. Photography became something I had to do. It seemed like time was now on fast forward so taking pictures was a way of stopping those little moments so they could become lasting memories. The photos hanging on the walls of my home just make me happy. The many pictures I’ve taken – of the little everyday moments as well as the big momentous occasions – tells my story.

And I’d love to tell your story, too.

Maria Watts Omaha area photographer

Maria Watts