The Long road home.
Photography was never a hobby for me. When I was in middle school, I decided I was going to be a photographer. I had never picked up a camera, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. This set me off on a long and winding road to where I am now. Once I got into high school, I began the arduous process of developing my style. Anyone I was close with got used to me taking pictures of them constantly, trying to learn how the camera works and mastering the nuances of traditional, manual photography. My hands always reeked of photo chemicals and I was regularly skipping class to go out and shoot.
I thought I had it pretty well figured out until I got to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where my professors showed me just how poor my work was. At NAU I spent 4 years, studying photography, but mainly developing my eye. At this point I thought I was going to be a photojournalist. As I worked my way through multiple photojournalism internships, there was the dark reality looming that the field I was pursuing was a dying field. Once I graduated from NAU and started applying to publications big and small, my worries were confirmed as I heard back from nobody. I had just graduated and held a degree that nobody was looking for, and in fact were laying off at record pace.
I assumed I was going to have to go another route in my life. I went to the US Forest Service and became a hotshot firefighter. I got to travel the country, work harder than I thought possible and see the most amazing scenes imaginable. I loved it and expected it to become my career.
With my life based in and around the Yosemite area, I naturally had a large collection of images from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Once my work caught the eye of some fateful folks, I was offered to show my work in Yosemite. It was a week long show and it went nicely. It re-ignited my belief that photography was my future, and I ditched the forest service to hit the road for 5 years traveling the country coast to coast doing photography the way I wanted. By living on the road, I was able to shoot in brand new places every day. This kept me from burning out and kept me inspired constantly. I made more images than I would like to count many of which I have still yet to go through. While traveling, I would book art shows around the country. That way I not only had a constant flow of new images, but I was able to perfect my printing and processing. Logistically, running an art business from the road can be tricky but is not impossible. We often would be processing, packing and shipping prints from parking lots nationwide.
Believe it or not, after 5 years, the glamorous life of sleeping in truck stops and Wal Mart parking lots began to loose it’s flair and the domesticated life started to call. I had photographed nearly every state in the country, I had taken part in hundreds of the nations most acclaimed art shows and I without question had achieved what I set out to do when I set off on the highway. Our time on the road was wild. The things we saw on a daily basis you would never believe.
In 2012 I opened an art gallery in downtown Bend, Oregon which was soon followed up with another in Sisters, Oregon. I sell my work exclusively and still find plenty of time to travel. Although I find myself doing a lot more “dad stuff“ these days, I continue to develop my style and find inspiration everywhere I look.
In regards to camera gear, I shoot a Hasselblad H system with a Phase One back. I also use a Canon 5DSR and a Leica.