Full name: Magdalena Kernan
Nicknames: Magi, Magpie, Magsymoo, Moo
From: Ocean City, NJ
Currently: 2nd Year of Law School at Rutgers University
Loves: snowboarding, being in the ocean at sunrise, spending time with family, traveling and experiencing new cultures, making friends!
I stumbled into photography when I was in 7th grade when I first moved to Ocean City, New Jersey. My mom bought me my first camera for Christmas and I had recently moved towns, so I would ride my little bike around to the boardwalk and beach and find interesting things to take photos of like bike wheels and kites. Eventually, I started taking portraits of people and became fascinated with being able to capture more than just a photo, but something that gave off a feeling and a vibe, or told someone’s story, or captured the essence of a moment. Things picked up as I shared my work and I started shooting more and more, working for different companies and taking on little shoots, eventually leading me to starting my own wedding photography company. (I now shoot weddings all over the world!) I love shooting couples and being a part of a love story. I'm a hopeless romantic and I emotionally invest in all of my clients.
On the other hand, I started working with companies and professional surfers in 2014 through shooting for a local surf shop. It's allowed me some amazing opportunities like traveling to Tahiti, Australia, Hawaii, Brazil, and Mexico alongside some pretty incredible and well-known athletes that I am now lucky to call friends. My love for the ocean and growing up in a beach town brought everything together seamlessly. I’ve always traveled (I’ve lived in Italy while studying abroad and Africa while interning with the United Nations Development Program, and I've traveled throughout Europe, South America, and Asia for different non-profit organizations and for personal travel) but traveling with the professional surfers gave adventuring a new meaning and purpose. I absolutely love shooting in the water and the different dynamic it creates with photography. It’s always a new challenge navigating the waters and dealing with the different elements all while connecting with your subjects in an intimate way- it’s my favorite place to photograph!
A lot of people ask me "why law school" and right now, my answer is "why not!" I am passionate about human rights issues and I love being in school and expanding my mind. It's a delicate balance pursuing both of my passions and I have had to give up quite a few things, but I hope to combine photography and my passion for international human rights issues after law school to lead an impactful life. When I was in undergrad, I spent time photographing the homeless of Atlantic City and silently auctioning the photos alongside their stories for a fundraiser benefiting the local rescue mission. THAT is what makes me come alive and burns my fire, and I hope to do more of these kinds of things one day. So I am going to keep working towards that goal. I strongly believe in manifesting your dreams, and - from starting off as the new girl in a small town with just a camera by my side to where I am today -I've learned that truly anything is possible!