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Ridgefield Teen Launches Photography Biz, Helps Yale Children's Hospital

Lindsay Toia photographing the sunset in Westerly, R.I. Photo Credit: Contributed
Lindsay Toia meeting her idol, Taylor Swift. Photo Credit: Contributed
A photo by Lindsay Toia of the sunset over the water at Westerly, R.I. Photo Credit: Lindsay Toia

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Senior year is proving to be a busy one for Lindsay Toia of Ridgefield.

The 17-year-old is finishing up high school, sending out college applications, competing in figure skating and launching her own photography business — and somehow finding the time to meet her idol Taylor Swift at a "secret session" for the pop singer's newest album.

Lindsay, a senior at Ridgefield High, plans to major in marketing at college. Not only is it her favorite course, she is also getting hands-on experience as she markets her nature and landscape photographs as part of her business, Lindsay Toia Photography.

She got her start through classes in high school and has continued learning more about her craft on her own through online groups and practice.

"I am inspired by the natural world, and I enjoy capturing its beauty from different angles," Lindsay said. "I am fascinated by the narratives that can be told through entire landscape, or simply a minor detail of it."

Many of her photos are show the natural beauty of some of her favorite spots — sunrises and sunsets, beaches and florals from around New England — often Rhode Island and Nantucket.

"My favorite photos are ones taken when I feel the most attentive to my surroundings, so often while watching the sun slowly disappear under the horizon of an ocean or Great Lake," Lindsay said. "I am particularly fond of the series of serene shots I captured in Westerly, Rhode Island, as well as the series of striking sunsets over Lake Michigan. These photos are featured in the Sunrises and Sunsets Collection."

Lindsay is also inspired to help a charity close to her heart through her photography work.

"Through the end of the year, all profits from www.lindsaytoiaphotography.com will be donated to Yale Children's Hospital, where my younger sister Lauren was treated in June 2015 for a spontaneous brain hemorrhage," she said. "I am extremely thankful for her medical team who helped her fully recover, and I am happy to display my gratitude through my passion of photography. I hope that the funds raised will help other children in need of critical care."

Lindsay aims for a sense of passion and emotion behind every photo she takes.

And her own excitement comes out when she tells of meeting Taylor Swift, who scoured the internet in search of fans to invite private sessions to hear her new album, "Reputation," before its release.

Lindsay received a coveted invitation to one of these "Secret Sessions" held in Swift's mansion in Watch Hill, R.I.. Accompanied by her mom, Lindsay mingled with other fans and Swift and her family while they listened to the unreleased songs.

Taylor, who personally screen-shotted and selected Lindsay's profile, greeted the Ridgefield teen by shouting, "Hey Lindsay!! How's the figure skating going???"

"She had been watching my posts online for quite some time, and had apparently seen the video of my sister Lauren and I figure skating to her song 'Look What You Made Me Do'," Lindsay said.

"I am so grateful that I was able to spend time and talk with the person I have looked up to for so many years. Her music is very meaningful to me, as she’s helped me through the toughest times, and celebrated with me during the happiest moments," said Lindsay.

"I have always admired Taylor because she succeeds in having a 'personal' connection with her fans — but with over 100 million followers on Instagram and fans across the entire world, the odds were not in my favor," Lindsay said. "This certainly taught me to never give up on dreams, even if they seem absolutely impossible to achieve — you never know what the future holds!"

For more information on Lindsay Toia's photography, visit her website at www.lindsaytoiaphotography.com . Items for sale include photos, gallery wraps, Giclée prints and accessories. For more on Lauren Toia's recovery at Yale Children's Hospital, click here .

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