The combination of art and technology has been an integral part of my life, since I was 9 years old and rigged the family stereo to have two CD players and a microphone so I could record myself as a “radio DJ”. Figuring out first how to play the guitar, then how to record and track it on the computer when I was 12 came next. In my mid-twenties, on a whim, I decided to buy my very first camera shortly before I was to move to the beautiful island of Bermuda for a job. I had no idea what I was buying, or if what I was buying would even do what I wanted – not that I had a clue what that might be or how I might determine that – but I decided that since I was embarking on my first real life adventure I should just dive in head first and figure out the details along the way.
Ever since, I’ve spent countless hours re-training my brain to not just see a scene unfolding in front of me, but to really appreciate it. I’d spent so much of my life with my ears already tuned to hear beauty with my life-long appreciation (some might say “obsession”) with music, I’d never done the same with my eyes, and so I’ve had to start from scratch. I’d always viewed the world as something that just was. Rather than seeing the visual world as a novel – with its beauty or suffering or bright or rusty or broken or exciting – I saw it as a textbook, simply a way of communicating fact without emotion.
Picking up that first original Canon Digital Rebel was my eureka moment! Until then, I had never realized that photo of a traffic light could be just a representation of a traffic light taken by a bored photographer, or it could be the symbol of the daily grind of having a 9-to-5 job, or it could be the most colorful thing you’ve seen all day, or maybe it’s to be used as a motivator for a business. I’d never even considered any of the possibilities, but now that I was about to tell a story, I decided that I had best figure that out and quick.
Since that personal revelation years ago, I’ve come to realize that I really enjoy photographing people vs. landscapes or objects or architecture or or or… While I feel like shooting women comes more naturally to me, shooting either (or both) sex is definitely where I feel like I belong. After dealing with my own personal demons as a younger person, I feel like I can more easily recognize pain in other people and so by using my photography, I want to give them an avenue to not only express the pain, but to also derive some joy from it, by seeing themselves hopefully as beautifully as I see them.
My entire goal is to give anyone with the courage to stand in front of my lens the ability to tell their personal story, be it tragedy, heartache, loss, or any other emotion, and then provide them the ability to look back and say “I took a positive step.” I would never claim or want to be the answer to their problem, or to be the final step of their individual journey; I simply want to give them a single positive moment to remember along the way.