It started with pigeons.
At least as far as I remember, that's how it started.
I was in fifth grade the first time I got my mitts on my very own camera. Our class had taken the traditional trip to Washington D.C. to learn the wonders and workings of our nation's capital. Everywhere I turned, there were impressive buildings, imposing monuments, important people, and incomparable documents. I was out, though, to do some documenting of my own. When my 110 film was developed, my parents were perplexed and somewhat dismayed that I had chosen to point my Kodak Ektralite 10 toward the strutting street avians of the City of Magnificent Intentions. I didn't understand why my parents were flustered. I still don't.
I went on to photograph my slew of stuffed animals, my heterochromial white cat, and any friends who would stand still long enough for me to shoot them. I even shot a monkey in a cage once with my Polaroid. I thought he'd appreciate my work, so I handed him the still-damp photo through the bars. He wasn't pleased and tried to destroy all evidence of his portrait. It took some bribing, but I eventually got it back. I still have it somewhere, bite marks and all.
Now my equipment is slightly higher-end and my subjects not quite as elusive, aggressive, or feathered. I love faces. Rugged ones, young ones, seasoned ones, sad ones. I love moments and rays of light. I enjoy the challenge of capturing the authentic and the classic, of making pictures of people--pictures that might last long enough to be treasured by the subject's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, like the photo that sits in front of me right this minute of my grandma Anna and her slew of sisters huddled around their father on a mountain in Montana.
My goal with portrait, landscape, and event photography is to make inspired pictures in a relaxed environment, to capture unposed scenes that might otherwise go unnoticed, to document a place and a time that might be very different tomorrow, and to focus on the person in front of me, a person who has been built to be exactly who they are in that moment through two converging lineages over countless generations.
What I end up with through all this is my own style of honest-to-goodness, natural-light photography. I enjoy it. I hope you enjoy it, too.