Creative. Light. Sound. Expression. Art. Commerce.
Photography and Me:
I pursue it from the (HE)ART;
I maintain it thru the COMMERCE.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been attracted to and inspired by the visual. A key moment occurred in college. To gain admission to a photojournalism class at Penn State University there was a prerequisite requirement to take first. It was an art history class -- one of those auditorium style affairs but held mostly in the dark, lighted by only the giant projections of images, the like of which I’d never seen before. The key was that the professor was brilliant. He overloaded our brains with so much information that I filled several notebooks instead of the usual one. He was entertaining and enlightening all at once. A total, eye-opening inspiration and the best example of what a good teacher can do for you.
Flash forward and about 2001. A winding path had led to a successful career in composing and producing music for advertising, but then that road came to an end. I found myself serious about pursuing the idea of making a living as a photographer. I asked a well-known designer/creative director to look at my work and he said “I’m not sure what kind of photographer you want to be.” That seemed to be a bad thing. Then again, inspired by that art history class, I’ve always aimed to be great photographer inspired by whatever caught my imagination and I never felt compelled to stick to any one style or type.
Personally, I prefer the poetic, artistic approach over the highly skilled commercial. It might be more lucrative to “specialize” and while I totally respect those that do, for me that would be too stifling for a restless spirit.
That being said, having had my aforementioned successful music production house, I know and appreciate that commerce generally speaking is not about art. Besides, I’ve always liked business people. And I’ve always found a comfort zone in professional environments. The business realms are centered around specific goals and a concentration towards getting a particular job done within a particular timeline. The results and the repeat business have been and continue to be both personally satisfying and professionally validating.
Pursuing a career as a working photographer has meant a dedication towards perfecting the CRAFT of photography. The fantastic news is: one feeds the other. For example, you cannot consistently make great portraits without knowing a thing or two about art and art history; nor can you make a great photographic portrait without knowing the difference between f11 & f1.2 and why one is preferable to the other within a given parameter. The left side of the brain fuels the right side and vice versa.
And I explore. I love to try different cameras, different films, different approaches. It’s a puzzle. I get the gist & then want to try the next thing. Color. B&W. Film. Digital. Single Image, Collage. Portraits. Landscape. Random. Concept. Photo Booths! Large format. Small format. Plastic cameras. Antique cameras -- or anything else caught loitering in my ever-growing camera collection cabinet.
Obviously, I’m also inspired by sound.
Additionally, my original career path actually was acting.
I studied & received my BA in Telecommunications & Theater at Indiana University.
I was a college dj.
During my music company days, doing ‘demo tracks’ I was spotted by my agent Ann Wright.
And so I do a lot of voice over work.
Among others, I’ve been the voice of Kendall Motor Oil, Texaco Havoline Motor Oil, Campbell Soup.
In 2010 & 2011 I was the voice of the SuperValu national chain of grocery stores (Andersons, Jewel Osco, etc).
In 2012 I’m the voice of Mylan a chemical manufacturing company.
I’m originally from Memphis.
For the past 12 years I’ve been a resident of Montauk,
and for the past five years, my wife, Annie, and I have also owned a home in her native state of Connecticut.
My 1953 Buick Super Riviera.
I bought it for myself as a birthday present from my buddy, Augie.
He lived down the street from me in in the West Village.
It’s rumored to have once been owned by Orlando Cepeda, the baseball player.
I’ve spent way too much money on it.
But it’s a beauty and
like all great beauties,
The Main Thing:
The main thing is to remain curious. For every problem there’s a solution. I want to find that solution.