Where is your home base?
What is your photography genre/specialty?
Landscape and Fine Art Photography
What is your most memorable image and why?
My most memorable image to date has to be of the Milky Way rising over Temple of the Sun in Capitol Reef, National Park. My mother has been dealing with some health issues and for this trip I brought her along and as I took this photo she sat with me watching the stars moving taking in the scene. It is a photo I will never forget creating and has such a deep meaning to me.
Why did you become a photographer? What drives you to capture images and has this changed over time?
My inspiration to become a landscape photographer, or photographer in general, comes from a desire from when I was a child. My parents subscribed to National Geographic and I recall staring at the photos for hours with each new arrival in our mailbox. As I have gotten older there was a two year period I did not even pick up a camera or really take a photo as I didn’t really know where the craft was going or my inspiration for that matter. A friend of mine that shot film got me into toy cameras and from there the passion reignited and I moved overseas for about five years traveling quite a bit focusing on travel photography similar in style to Nat Geo, AFAR, Travel & Leisure to name a few. Upon my return to the United States my travel slowed and I needed an outlet for this desire to shoot landing on Landscapes and taking inspiration from some of the leading names in the industry, Dan Ballard, Marc Adamus, to name a few. They inspired my vision, talent and technique in the field.
Do you have any personal rituals to help you get ready for a shoot? What are they?
Mentally I prepare with attempting to pre visualize the location and environment I will be shooting in. If I will be near water I will try and think of scenes I can capture; in the rainforest how to isolate a simple tree or fern. Primarily I work on a mental map of my camera and its buttons and layout making sure when I pick it up I am ready to run in a moments notice if necessary.
What are the top 5 things you can’t live without while on a shoot?
Tripod, Filters, Kimwipes for mist/smudges on lens, headlamp, travel umbrella.
How do you regain your inspiration if you hit a creative rut?
I love to look at current photographers in the scene that are killing it with amazing photos. This can sometimes cause me to get a little down and discouraged seeing what talent levels are reaching, but it also gets me super pumped to get out and create work that rivals or exceeds these photos.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your journey as a photographer?
I have a couple of great friends in the industry who have been like mentors to me helping me see further, faster avoiding pitfalls and jumpstarting me along the way.
If you could share just one tip with aspiring photographers, what would it be?
Keep pushing and looking back only to see where you began taking inspiration from that to fuel your forward motion in the craft. We all begin someplace and have struggles along the way, but know these are inherent to the craft and simply part of the journey.
What are the top three Zenfolio features essential to helping you run your business?
1. Unlimited storage
2. Easy to use User’s Interface
3. Super clean layout
4. Powerful customization
If you could second shoot with any photographer (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Currently Marc Adamus, just to see how he works in the field.
How has the photography world changed since you turned pro?
Just in the last two years the skill level out there has gone through the roof with the younger generation. I WAS the younger generation when I got into landscape photography just a few years ago with my peers easily doubling my time holding a camera. Today the talent is younger than me, or just at, but the bar keeps getting raised higher and higher every single day. It’s scary and also inspiring.
What one piece of software besides Zenfolio do you consider to be vital in your workflow?
The Adobe CC Suite, I work in both Photoshop and Lightroom and simply would not be able to create without it.
For me, Zenfolio is the cornerstone to show the world my work and conduct online commerce. The Team behind the scenes are also key to all of our success behind the lens.