RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Popular Rutherford photographer Amy Persico was at a low point in her life and depressed when she discovered the magic of photography.
"I had quit my job and didn't know what I wanted out of life. I sat in my room for a month or so hoping to find myself," she said. "Then eventually, after realizing I really loved photography, my mom bought me a camera kit and I spent another month in my room just teaching myself every setting on my camera and learning techniques on YouTube."
Persico said her first subjects were very odd things including lit matches in the shape of a heart, strawberries and scrabble game pieces spelled into words.
"My best friend actually still has those shots hanging in her room, that’s love," she said with a laugh.
Today Persico, 27, is the owner of Amy Persico Photography, where she loves to photograph children and families. Her favorite type of photography is black and white. She said she is amazed how it has the power to add more emotion to any picture.
"No matter what photo it is, what setting it’s in, it has such a powerful way of enhancing the emotion in the image," she said. "People pay closer attention to what’s happening in the photo and relate to the image when there’s no colors involved to distract your thoughts or eyes."
A nanny three days a week, she is naturally drawn to children, because of their carefree and pure nature, she said.
"Their personality shines through. It’s the most rewarding thing ever to go through pictures after a session and see how much happiness, silliness, even sadness or any other type of emotion is showing in my pictures. When a child is kissing mommy or hugging daddy or even crying because they just got hurt -- they’re just simply being themselves and showing what emotions come with life. Candid shots are real and that’s what I love," she added.
Saying she's from a "funny and loving dysfunctional" family, that's full of ups and downs, but with plenty of support thrown in, her life so far is reflected in her photographs.
Believe it or not, the picture crazy young woman doesn't always have her camera with her. But, she does have a camera on her phone that is so full she might burst her cloud storage.
When asked what's the best part about owning a business, she laughs and says: "Well what’s not to love? But if I had to narrow it down to one thing, it’s probably hearing how happy a client is with their final photograph. Knowing I was able to freely express myself through my photos."
But owning her own business isn't all about making money, Persico said it's all about capturing moments in families lives that they won't ever get back.
"Life is short, but so incredibly beautiful," she said. "I want people to open their eyes and see that, look past all the depressing stuff going on in life and just be in love with their present life for everything it is or isn’t."
To see Persico's photos, or to contact her, click here.