_Raised with a healthy respect for things that go bump in the night, Pilar Belmonte had (more or less) a conventional childhood. Paranormal activities (ouijas, spirits, ghosts) were not uncommon.
Born in a hospital in La Rochelle, France (in what was once Napoleon's stable for horses), she later lived in Idar-Oberstein, Germany (where Bruce Willis was born). She attended second grade in La Crosse, Wisconsin (in a one-room schoolhouse) before settling with her family in St. Augustine, Florida (the nation's oldest city).
Pilar unwittingly rode with Hell's Angels (on her 90cc Harley-Davidson) while attending Flagler College. Later she transferred to a nursing school in Atlanta, Georgia (where she may have, sort of, touched the rump of Rod Stewart at the Limelight) and worked as an RN in the Neonatal ICU at Grady Memorial Hospital. Eventually Pilar and her husband, Tom, moved to Asheville, NC (voted "Beer City, USA") and raised four children.
While in Asheville, Pilar began to seriously explore photography in 1996. She has since studied with Sylvia Plachy, Antonin Kratochvil, Constantine Manos, Sam Urdank, and James Megargee. Pilar also was the Still Photographer for the film "Anywhere USA," winner of the coveted Special Jury Prize (at Sundance!). She does shoot digital, but prefers (gasp) 35mm black-and-white film. She prints her own B&W photographs (in her laundry room).