2019 PDN Faces Winner
“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”
— Elliott Erwitt
I create images non-traditionally, that connect to the humanity of the person being photographed.
Making photos is at the core of who I am. I learned to make pictures before I learned to drive. As a child, armed with my grandfathers Rollei, the first portrait I remember making was of my mother, who agreed to jump into a large bush of flowers and peek out at me. It was weird, and I was hooked. In college, studying with one of Ansel Adam's former assistants, I was obsessed with creating stark nudes in the studio and doing things with darkroom chemistry that is definitely not recommended. It got even weirder, and I loved it. As a starving artist in San Francisco, printing for Jock Sturges, I would ride around on buses at all hours of the night capturing the degradation of the city on a Hasselblad. The irony wasn't lost on me, and I knew I needed to shake things up.
I deviated from my passion, and delved into a decade long career in graphic design and advertising. I designed one-sheets in LA and art directed print and tv ads in NYC. I art directed the first HD Film Festival in Manhattan, and it was that project, being so inspired by the film makers I was working with, that I knew I had to pick up my camera and get back to my life's work. That said, those years weren't wasted. I come to every project with a greater understanding from both the talent and the client's perspective.
I got back to portrait photography 13 years ago and haven't looked back. Always pushing myself and reaching to do it differently.
Two years ago I took a class from Frank W Ockenfels 3. His workshop opened up a whole new arena for me, a level of creativity that can only happen along side the very real possibility of failure. I'm not afraid to fail. I only fear not trying.