I was born Jean Marie Mayer in St. Albans, New York in 1955. When I was 5 years old my family moved to the coastal town of Lompoc, California. I drew pictures for my elementary school classmates and taught myself to play the guitar at age twelve. Within a few years I was teaching children to play guitar at a summer art & music camp in Santa Barbara, which led to performing in a band with fellow high school students. Entering my drawings in Lompoc Art Association juried shows, I won two honorable mention ribbons.
Enrolled as an art major at Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, I attended classes by day and worked as a waitress on the graveyard shift at Denny's Restaurant, where I became friends with the two night cooks, who were both musicians. On the weekends we would sit in with a local nightclub duo then leave to clock in at Denny's. One night a band from San Luis Obispo saw me performing with the duo and offered me a job singing with them five nights a week. I left college and Denny's and never looked back.
For the next 25 years I supported myself with my music and art. I performed in San Luis Obispo, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Grover City, Paso Robles, Santa Maria, and Lake Tahoe in California; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Fe, New Mexico. My paintings hung in galleries in New Mexico, California, Arizona, Texas, Oregon and Tennessee. I studied acting at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts and in 1980 I wrote The Temptations' hit song, "Power", with Motown legend Berry Gordy.
I moved to Santa Fe in 1989 and painted scenes of New Mexico and Native American figures while working at a gallery. In 1996, while performing at a small cafe, I met the love of my life, musician Dan Fogelberg. An accomplished fine artist and traditional darkroom photographer himself, Dan shared his knowledge with me and encouraged me to further develop my skills with the camera. He died of advanced prostate cancer in 2007.
I continue to maintain the website we started in 1998 at www.danfogelberg.com and produced three albums, "Love in Time," "Dan Fogelberg ~ Live at Carnegie Hall," and "A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg." In 2013 I started teaching photography workshops in the USA, Mexico, Bali, England, and India.
I love teaching and sharing my passion for photography, and I love to travel. I usually teach a couple of photography and Photoshop® workshops each year through Heaven and Earth Workshops. My primary "focus" is helping budding photographers to master the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings on their cameras and teaching them post-production in Photoshop®.