I have been tracing lines with my mind’s eye since I was a little kid. My family subscribed to LIFE magazine and I studied every picture in each weekly issue. Father loved taking the family for long rides around the city and into the country. I found myself framing images in my mind and squeezing the window handle in his car to simulate cable release clicking a picture as we drove along. There was never a time I didn’t want to be a photographer. Especially, a photojournalist.
Patterns and designs call to me. Architecture in new or old buildings, crowded display windows, neighborhoods, movement, moods, light. The feel and flavor of the city, day or night, is what I seek to capture when I shoot.
At the same time, I love shooting people. Whether in a carefully controlled setting or, more likely, reacting in an instant to the scene I am in, capturing faces, actions, and feelings is just plain fun! I am as comfortable focused on senior corporate executives as with bartenders or clients of nonprofit services.
Early influences were Eisenstadt, Avedon, Danny Lyons, Sebastio Salgado, Shomei Tomatsu, Brasii, Helmut Newton, Gene Smith, Arnold Newman, Cartier-Bresson, paintings by Edward Hopper, and the drawings of Felix Topolski. Current influences include Andrew Moore, Ruven Afanador, Craig McDean, Jill Greenberg, Sebastio Salgado, James Nachtwey, and Platon. With no formal training, I learned photography by observing, experimenting, assisting professionals when possible, and through on the job experiences. Photoshop skills have been gained from online course work plus lots of practice.
I believe in “the decisive moment,” while trying to guard against my images looking too staged or trite.
I respond to mood and design as I shoot what I feel. Retouching and image manipulation provide for more creative expression.
Photomontage is the natural outgrowth of trying to see more of a scene – see a wide angle AND close-up view at the same time. To accomplish this I use telephoto lenses of varying length.
Every shoot, every project takes on a life of its own. Regardless of how much it may be planned or how many times I have done similar work, there is a moment when chance and discovery happen. That is what brings photography to life for me.