Cheryl is a new member to our club.  Please welcome her!  Her images are special and unique and express the beauty of our world.  She has a website, so take some time to cruise through and enjoy.  How do you choose images from all your favorite places?  Everything is a special and touchable memory.  You can imagine being there!

Cheryl shares her story on her journey into photography....

I’m so honored and excited to have been asked to be in the SPOTLIGHT!

To tell you a little bit about me and how I became involved in the art of photography, I’d love to include a portion of an interview I did with Joe Emanski, reporter for

“By day, Cheryl is a teacher working with students who are on the autism spectrum. One experience in particular set her on a course to becoming an art photographer.

“Students with autism generally have problems with verbal communication,” she says. “Back in the 90’s, the district I was working for purchased Polaroid cameras. The idea was that we were supposed to take pictures of our students throughout the day, and we could send those home with the children in their backpacks. If the children couldn’t tell what they did in school, they could show what they did.”

The experience, she says, was not a good one. “I would see what the kids were engaged with at school, but the photos would often be terrible. And, of course, you couldn’t see what you did until the picture came out of the camera. It was not my favorite thing to do,” she says.

Things changed toward the end of that year when she visited a friend who was also a teacher in the district working with students on the spectrum.

“Her pictures were stunning,” the Hopewell resident says. “I said, ‘I had no idea you were such a great photographer!” And she said, ‘No, I have this new thing, it’s called a digital camera.’ This is when the top-of-the-line camera was one megapixel.”

Everything changed for Cheryl after she got her first digital camera. “A lot of my first photography was pictures of my students being the kids that their parents knew they were,” she says. Freed from the limitations of film, she was able to snap shots until she felt she had got them right.

One day her husband suggested she submit some of her photos to a juried exhibition at Mercer County Community College. She was shocked when both the images that she had submitted were accepted. “And then, just fortunately, I managed to be successful over the years.”

Some of Cheryl’s photographs are photorealistic, while others are digitally manipulated and still others are digitally embellished with features that never existed in the original. She says she doesn’t have a cognitive process for how she works. “It’s how I feel when I look at it,” she says, noting that for every photograph she has in her portfolio, there are hundreds or thousands that didn’t make the cut.

She says in terms of photo editing and using software to alter her photos, she has benefited from her roles as a resident artist and assistant gallery director of the Centre for the Arts in Bristol, Pennsylvania. “Instrumental for me moving forward with my technique was being involved in the gallery, being with other artists, and learning from them,” she says.

Since this article was published, I retired from my 40-year career as a special education teacher and have been spending my first year as a “pensioner” enjoying hobbies (from painting to puzzles to pysanky!), exploring, traveling, and, of course, all things photography! My trusty Canon is also semi-retired, as I mainly concentrate on iPhonography and post-processing with myriad creative apps. I still find time to do a little teaching though, as the inaugural instructor of “iPhonography at Ellarslie,” a unique course that teaches the basics of phone photography as well as its creative potential.

The images I’ve chosen to share for my spotlight are from my recent summer and winter trip to Iceland. Almost all were created with my (also retired!) iPhone 11 Pro Max, “ the little camera that could!”

Her gallery images: