Artist

"You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give" ~ Winston Churchill
.
.

{ artist profile }

Monica Fish is Antique Honey. Antique Honey is Monica’s current endeavor. Antique Honey reflects who she is currently as a photographer. This is a constantly evolving industry and world, and as an artisanal photographer and artist she evolves as well.

~~~

"For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light." ~ Jonathan Swift

.
I have had a passion for the arts since I was a little girl. I remember the feeling of holding a camera when I was only 4 years old –and trying to tell a story in pictures about the Christmas presents I had just received {I am not saying these feelings or the story I was trying to tell were anything that would change the world, but nonetheless they were mine}. My mom was on the phone with family wishing them a Merry Christmas in NY. I wasted the whole roll, and enjoyed every moment of it. While clicking away awfully framed photos {most of them with no subject} I had my very first quintessential “toes peeking into the frame” photo about 12 years earlier than expected. I received my first camera that my mom bought at a garage sale about a year later that used disc film.
.
It was pink.
.
I double exposed the film and understood the concept of film and was completely hooked after that. I was 6. I would always be the one taking photos. Always.

I later ventured into playing around with expired film and different formats. The disc film had started it all. In my high school and college careers I spent much time bulk loading my own film, processing it myself and making my own prints in the darkroom. I had even experimented with some of my best friends developing 35mm motion picture film in our hand crafted bathroom/darkroom in college, using home-made gear. My favorite time was always in the darkroom experimenting with different techniques and making these images "appear".
.
On a list of things I love from a kindergarten project - I cited “my baby pictures” as my top 5 of 7 things I love. I always knew they were special, but at that point I never imagined that I would be lucky enough to actually have a career creating what I love. {when I was little I wanted to be an architect , visual ethnologist , film director and rally race car driver}.
.
I am a mother, wife, music lover, teacup collector, yogi, history buff, crafter, baker, honey bee advocate, antiquer, DIYer, artisan, and have always been enamored with photography. I am a social scientist by nature, and enjoy being an ethnographic photographer with the ability to take on work in the cinema field as projects align.

i love, science, musical instruments, home decor, anthropology and anthropologie.

I have always admired Edward Curtis, as his portraits were the first that had struck me in such a way. I was born in Arizona, and enjoyed being a cowgirl and was warmed by his rich toned photographs after seeing them in one of my beloved and a frequented place on this earth, Sagamore HIll; Theodore Roosevelts home. Where I day dreamed of adventure, ran through the fields every year on my birthday celebration with my mom, and got an idea of what our country, and people have been through. The photos helped guide the story for me, and I realized how powerful they were. He took creative direction in the darkroom, and being a pioneer of his time and building his own cameras was what made him almost as cool as Teddy Roosevelt to me. Im glad I got to start to "know" them both and Sagamore HIll starting on my second birthday.

I have had an interest in old photographs ever since I laid eyes on the piles of photos my Aunt Kay had. New York in 1919–my grandfather is holding an American flag standing next to his sister, Catherine on their front “stoop” in Harlem, New York City. My great grandparents were born in County Mayo, Ireland, so this was the first generation born in America. I can only imagine what the flag might have meant to them. The photo was mounted and seemed to be metallic when I tilted it. If I could have married a photograph, I would have done so at that very moment. It was beautiful.
.
My love of old movies started one Christmas while watching 8mm films of my mom and her 5 brother and sisters from the 1950’s on Long Island, New York. My grandfather must have made them practice doing “the walk” down the side of the house because they were all on step. My grandfather took these photos and movies, and preserved for me emotions and feelings of their life. I could tell how much he cared for his family and how much he loved them through these films somehow. I never met him, but he has given me such a treasure.
.
Those movies seemed soo magical to me and trumped any Disney film I had seen. {They still do}, and I still cry.
.
This world needs more passion.

The first time I considered myself a “photographer” was when I took a portrait of my grandmother, with my old Pentax. She was cross armed holding her chin in her hand sitting staring blankly at a TV screen as she died from cancer. She was a former model and was as gorgeous as they come in her day. Now, sitting before me she had no hair and instead wore a chemo-turban. She was still beautiful to me, with her big blue eyes.
.
I was 15 and I knew as i watched the print develop in the darkroom - that, this photo had just changed my life and that my grandmother { the woman who had raised me and was my second mother } wouldnt be making it the 4 weeks until my sweet 16th birthday. Until then, I had only taken snapshots. That day, I made a print straight out of love. She didnt live until the party, but I had showed her the dress I had bought myself for the party. It had 3 embroidered butterflies on it. She loved the butterflies.

I had a hard time with photography after that. I felt sad and upset that I hadn't gotten to take what I considered "good" photos of my mother who had died when I was 12. I stepped away from portraiture and let my passion for music and live performances guide me to concert photography. It was emotionally safe, technically and physically challenging and I adored being able to get paid to go to concerts and have front row and see the passion unfold in these artitst. They zoned. They jammed. They felt it. And I wanted to know how too. Music has always been a very special friend of mine. Loved in all of its aspects, and on its good days and bad. I love story driven, soulful lyrics and charming voices. My love for music and undying passion for creativity with lyrics and visual representation lured me into loving music videos {when they became available to me}, and creating my own.

I chose to play trumpet in school and hoped to be able to play jazz and and of course, blues. I had always looked for more with mainstream music. I already had an ear out for songs that "spoke" to me by the time I was getting myself ready for 4th grade each morning.

When I was 8, I attended a Bat Mitzvah for my neighbor. As often seen in the Greater New York City area, it was a proud display of heritage and culture. There was a Klezmer Band there. I had already loved trumpets and I enjoyed the excitement and energy that filled the room with each valve movement. I started thinking about how to find that genre on a radio station so I could record it to my blank cassette tape. I failed to have pure genius and missed my opportunity to conceptualize itunes at this moment. I did however, dance my irish~catholic tukas off enjoying the soul that filled the room. .and enjoyed unique music that was presented to me. My mom gave me motown, my Uncle Mike gave me Leone Redbone , my Uncle Jeff gave me Devo, and my Uncle Al gave me... Patsy Cline and b l u e g r a s s . Playing with old records every summer that had belonged to my mom as a girl, was one of my favorite summer pastimes, and certainly helped to hook me on music. I remember waiting in lines on weekends after weeks spent babysitting and working early mornings at the local bakery when I was a teenager to go to a show. Punk, ska and rock were what was available. I went to them all. I loved it. I loved live music.
.
My upbringing certainly inspired me to pursue photography and later on, pick up and move myself from New York to Florida for college to be a filmmaker. It pushed me to be working as an Art Department Assistant on the backlots of Universal Studios for music video shoots, and photographing concerts at House of Blues and Hard Rock Live before I had even graduated. However, I think it is life and how our {and my world} world is constantly changing and evoking passion that drives me today. Dealing with my mothers illness and eventually her passing has taught me to go after my goals and has given me the courage to have emotions. I have learned to find strength in pain and use my hurt as fuel. I often get my best photographs from those who also embody courage. Sometimes I feel as though I have lived out the beginning and end of my life, and am only now that I am getting to live the middle part of life. The life that makes up my years.

Grief is the price we pay for love.
.
I have been lucky enough to go as far as Ireland, Hong Kong, China and India for photography and filmmaking. I have covered concerts at House of Blues, Radio City and Carnegie Hall all before I turned 21. Going to these places, and being in these environments has been such an amazing way to learn. I have been able to I bring what I have experienced all back with me to create.

I have held jobs over the years as a Research Manager with an Intellectual Property Private Investigator, Contract Administrator at a major Pharmaceutical Manufacturer, Director of Administration & Finance at an independent global economic and market strategy research firm in SoHo and lastly before launching Antique Honey a Production Coordinator and Director at a Film and Video studio outside of NYC. These jobs have each taught me how to run my own business. They have allowed me to get back to my passion and truly LOVE my job. I took jobs to not only pay the bills in between working on creative projects,feature & independent films, and music videos, but to learn everything I could.

Life is like photography, you develop from the negatives.
.
I pride myself on my creative energy and ability to see { and connect } the world a bit differently. I strive to create images that will be classic and timeless while maintaining a custom feel. I LOVE color in all of its forms but am equally passionate about the age old feel of black and white. I love custom processing photos and making it an artisinal piece of art work.

I have spent a lot of time working as a production designer and set decorator. I love complex scripts that allow me to dipict and unfold a character through natural prop and design profiles.

I often dabble in creating custom frames, displays, and graphic design that merge styles. These experiments and constantly working with different methods and mediums allows me to think outside the box as a photographer and create truly custom pieces. I enjoy working on home decor and building furniture { I built my own 12 foot long farmhouse dining room table from reclaimed wood}. Your home should be a reflection of you and your style. The art that showcases you & your family should follow suit.

Keep calm and carry on.
.
Shooting with natural light in natural settings allows for an honesty and intimacy rarely found in studio photography. Having a laid back environment creates a peaceful shoot. Being emotionally distracted comes through in photos, so I always aim to bring my yogic mind and philosophies into play to create a go with the flow portrait session and allows me to be ready for any moment on the day of your wedding.
.
I am excited to work with you and your family or capture your big day and create beautiful portraits and photographic coverage that will tell your families story for generations. I understand the trust that is given when you commission a photographer , and hope you now understand who I am.
.
.
sweetly,
~m

p h o t o g r a p h y
is the beauty of life
c a p t u r e d

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes - the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things." ~Jack Kerouac


Photo Credits:
Photo of Monica with camera by Martin Diggs ; On Set at ACE Studios, Guangzhou, China
1921 Portrait of Catherine Ellen Price and John Joseph Price by ; Unknown photographer
All other portraits of Monica are self portraits.

© photobiz