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Anita

The concept of beauty – how society perceives it and what it truly is – is something I have spent many years exploring, for two reasons.

The first is that I have been a professional photographer for over twenty years. From fashion to red carpet to portrait photography and more, I love to capture unique and impactful moments from behind the lens.

The second reason is that at the age of 18, I was in a serious car accident that resulted in two crushed vertabrae, months of rehabilitation and many facial reconstructive surgeries. People assumed I had been in a fire due to the amount of scar tissue on my face.

I was determined to stick with my plan to attend and graduate from university, which meant my surgeries were scheduled in the summers between the academic years. Due to the trauma from the accident, I began to experience some depression and anxiety. The unflagging support of my parents along with my support system of close friends have helped me manage my ongoing mental health challenges.

My facial difference never stopped me from dating nor fulfilling my dream of marriage and children. I continued to feel desirable and attractive. My two young boys enthusiastically tell their friends that their mom is ‘part bionic’ due to the ingrained screw in my nose.

My long involvement with AboutFace gives me the opportunity to photograph others with facial differences and capture their innate beauty. There is no greater thrill than watching my subjects’ confidence soar when they view an image that showcases their unique aesthetics and strength. I am now expanding into directing documentary films because I have become more and more passionate about telling others’ stories in an impactful way.

I have reaped so many rewards from pushing through life’s challenges and continually stepping outside my comfort zone that I love helping others do the same.

I believe my facial difference has made me a better photographer and film-maker, and a stronger, more compassionate human being.

I am a photographer and documentarian. I am an entrepreneur. I am a mom, wife, daughter, sibling, and true friend.