cefirmbach shooting at the beach Cathy Firmbach was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  Her Dad put a camera in her hands when she was quite young.  Every few years she stepped up to the next level of cameras until she bought her very first SLR camera with her own savings at the age of 14.  As Cathy said, “I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love photography!  It allows me the opportunity to capture the warmth of time with family, the serenity of the lakes and hillsides, the power of the ocean, the gentleness in every flower, and the magical beauty of hummingbirds as they dart through my garden.  Photography has become my passion.  It’s my favorite avenue for creativity and self-expression.”

Being the only girl in the family led her to racing iceboats with her Uncle and brothers.  In January 2001, she came to Bay City, Michigan, for the 2001 DN Worlds and North American Championships.  It was at these Championships she met Paul.  They were married 5 years later and she moved to Michigan soon after. Still, she finds herself making trips back home several times each year but they are never quite long enough.

While Cathy misses Long Island and living on the ocean, living by Lake St. Clair fulfills her need to be close to water and provides many opportunities to photograph nature and nautical scenes.  She has a whole new state to discover, savor and photograph.  Cathy is devoting her spare time to photographing and improving her photographic skills.  Her dream job is one that would allow her to help people while using her photography skills and then being able to pay all the bills each month.  She loves to share her work and hopes to publish a book of her photographs some day – something her mother, Sue, always wanted her to do.  “My Mom was my best friend and certainly my biggest fan!  She always inspired me to do my best, and then some.  Mom felt dreams were never impossible as long as you had the determination.  After a 10-year battle with breast cancer, she left to dance with the angels.  I miss her terribly but I still feel the drive to make her proud and publish my best work.  The hummingbird photo you see in my note cards (numbers 03 and 04) will be the very first photo in my future book.  Its title is “Hi Mom”.  She loved hummingbirds and whenever I see one I like to think she’s visiting so I say “Hi Mom” and then I make some photos.”

Look for Cathy’s work in local shops and various publications.  You can contact her for more information at

“Thank you for taking the time to experience my photographs.  I truly hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did making them!” - Cathy


Photograph courtesy of Sharon M. Schwarz