philosophy

Ever since my dad actually took my Kodachrome away when I was a kid because he was going broke from paying for processing all my film, I knew that making photographs was my passion. Sure, I got sidetracked by a pretty successful career as a news reporter and editor, but I didn't let that stop me from blowing many thousands of dollars on film and art school before the advent of digital cameras changed everything.

Digital equipment could go away tomorrow and the quality of my photos wouldn't change. I don't use digital gear and software as a crutch to cover up shoddy technical skills, it's all just another set of tools with which to reach the desired results.

The underlying photographic skill set – lighting, camera angles, exposure, color correction – were learned the hard way – what I consider to be the right way – back when exposure tests were done using Polaroids, light and color meters and lots of meticulous attention to detail. That, or I'm just getting old.

Don't get me wrong – I'm an absolute technophile – wait'll you see the piles of digital camera gear I lug to your shoot. But I'm a firm believer that the best images are still made in the camera, not on the computer.

And, you'll notice a bit of variety in my image galleries. To be sure, this is an age of specialization, but having a broad set of skills and experiences really makes one more useful. To wit:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

~ Robert Heinlein

To date, I've managed all of those (I've been a fry cook, farmhand, lifeguard, firefighter, reporter, whitewater raft guide, NCAA rowing coach, and a college instructor), save for the part about dying gallantly. I'll hold off on that one until some point in the far-distant future, thanks.

Having worked both sides of the profession gives me a solid understanding of how to communicate, how to smoothly and gracefully translate client requests into the reality of a shoot, and how to respect a client's vision and build the shoot around it to create images that are better for the collaborative efforts.

I've spent the past nine years shooting architecture, and even longer shooting travel. The only thing better than photographing a building is getting to travel to do it. I'm fortunate to have been able to combine my two favorite things into a successful career.

 

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