I have to start by saying I will not talk about myself in the third person. It's kind of annoying and how can you really get to know me that way? So that said, let's start at the beginning shall we.
I grew up in East Tennessee and was lucky enough to grow up with the house backing a green belt and with lots of open space on both of my grandparents farms. Most of the time my brother and I were set loose to what we thought were the wilds, days spent chasing fireflies and boyhood adventures in the sauna of the southern summers. When I wasn't busy trying to be Indiana Jones, I collected rocks or examined bugs generally enveloped in the growth and cycle of the movement of the world around me.
Dad spent his career as a math and computer science teacher so we always had technology around. I remember as a child when a computer took up entire rooms of space. Dad still uses those old punch cards as notecards and sometimes letters will include one of these primordial gems always with a Sharpie smiley face on it. While we were little, he could often be found with a video camera seemingly attached to his face. Those were the days of huge recorders with a long telescoping microphone booming out of it. I got used to being recorded and had a borg in the family way before they emerged on Star Trek. Continuing the family tradition, I got my first camera at a really young age before the clan went on a trip out west. It was a magical experience and as my interest grew I must have driven my parents crazy always begging for more Polaroid flash bars. Those things were awesome. My first exposure away from the dense forests of the homeland was to the Grand Canyon and the fascination with the enormity of the grand landscape began.
As I got older and my interests diversified, I put the camera down for awhile and after a long tenure working various technical positions in the music industry I ended up as a dual anthropology and environmental science major. Both disciplines still greatly influence my personal photographic work and I'm an active advocate for relevant positive environmental policy changes.
As a professional landscape photographer, I maintain a nice duality. Most of my commercial work centers around generating custom decor artwork portfolios for diserning hospitality clients around the United States and abroad. I really enjoy the challenges presented by this ever changing environment and the evolving process of invention that is today's inkjet printing world.
While we were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma I had the pleasure of going to see an exhibition of Ansel Adam's images at the Gilcrease Museum. Unlike other examples I had previously seen of his work, each of the around 140 pieces had been printed by Ansel himself. As a collection, it was inspiring as well as educational. This was a true representation of the artist's vision. I made a vow thereafter to always maintain complete creative control over my own work. I personally print all my images on a Canon 8400. After carefully testing and trying several options, I select what I feel is the appropriate paper for each unique body of work. Don't be fooled by anyone telling you that printing is a matter of simply pushing a button.
I'm completely self taught and I'm grateful for the artistic freedom that has given me. In my personal work, I have a tendency to bounce around quite a bit and enjoy the chaos that is the creative process. I love to experiment both at the capture phase of image creation as well as toying with new printing techniques. I have several ongoing projects that I've been working on over the last five to seven years, maybe someday I can even call a few of them completed. The tendency for me is to be drawn towards abstraction. Whether that is telling a chronology of the creation story of the navajo people or examining gestalt theory using macro images of graffiti, I enjoy taking the viewer on a journey of introspection where the artwork is merely the means of transition from an outward head space to an inward reflective one. So yes, I enjoy getting artsy fartsy now and again too.
Both of my parents were career public school educators so I can't help but think that teaching is in my blood and as a workshop leader I really enjoy the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about their photography and helping them to unearth and develop their personal artistic style. It's important to dismiss the technical sometimes so one's mind is open and receptive to the gift the world is trying to give you through the lens. It is uncanny that the best image I get on any given outing is never the one I set out to get, no matter how much planning I do. Perhaps for others this isn't the case but for me serendipity happens, so I trust in it.
Since the general transition to digital, I've bounced around between camera manufacturers: starting with a Nikon D200, moving on to a Canon 5d Mark II, and currently I'm shooting with a Canon 5DS R.
I share the whirlwind of this life with my lovely wife, the human tornado that is our son, and a happy old soul of constant shedding that has chosen to put up with us named Keoki. After life bouncing through Tennessee, West Virginia, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, and California: I call Washington home.
Arts Commissioner for the City of Gig Harbor
Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday
WatchDog Dads - Harbor Heights Elementary
Officer with the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition
Hope Recovery Center
Stand Up for Peninsula Schools