Journey of the Sea
Bio Photo by Michelle Nicoloff
Noel grew up inland Los Angeles in a family of five children. They didn't often visit the beach, but when they did, Noel was tucked in tightly under a towel and blanket the whole time. It had no memorable impact on her childhood.
However, after accepting an elementary school teaching job near the Pacific, Noel had to make some changes to her home location, and reluctantly she moved near the sea. After one spontaneous Hooky Day and a short drive through the canyon, they parked on PCH to explore the shoreside Laguna Beach. Her then labs darted out past the waves following a lonely seal. Even though the water was cold, the clear blue waters of laguna beach drew her in, and as she left, she grabbed a small green piece of glass she found on the shore. Since that day, she grabs every chance she can to spend the day swimming in the waters or paddling out to spot whales. Often with her youngest is perched on the end of the board.
Teaching became a world where test scores, teaching checklists and standardized skills replaced creativity. Discouraged, Noel left the classroom full of lively young children to pursue a career of photographing children. Her relaxed and natural way with children wins them over quickly. Her appreciation for exploring and fostering independence has encouraged her to photograph children finding their way through this world.