What Inspires Me

Ke-Chunk

My Work as an Artist

I have enjoyed a long career as an artist and photographer. My focus has been aimed at projects that I find meaningful. Producing content that has a positive impact on people is more important to me than simply earning a monetary reward. The highlight of my earlier career was as an artist in the exhibits department for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. There my skills were used to produce a wide array of content used for educational purposes for nearly fifteen years. (Learn more about those years via the page links at the bottom of this page.)

Photography has always been a passion of mine. My first SLR camera body was a Canon T50 film camera. Aside from taking an inordinate amount of photos of my friends, I also photographed various “old-school” punk rock shows. It’s where I fell in love with capturing the energy of a moment.


I pursued a career in the Industrial Arts and put photography aside for a number of years. It wasn’t until 2003 when I purchased a digital Canon SLR that I rediscovered my passion. By then I was a Creative Coordinator at the Carnegie and had acquired the skills and software knowledge needed to establish a digital darkroom. Those were also the early years of the internet and I found a talent at capturing the attention of viewers from all over the world.

Black Flag

Black Flag

Henry Rollins singing for Black Flag.
Pittsburgh 1986
Canon t50 + FDn 50mm f/1.8 + 400iso film.

In 2004 my work was noticed by established photographers. One in particular, Jeff Swenson an AP photojournalist, took me under wing and began to hone my skills. Through him I was introduced to famed National Geographic photographer Lynn Johnson. They both began to prepare me for a career as a photojournalist. By 2006 I was preparing to leave the museum in order to go to Iraq to document the war. Life had other plans and a near death experience, combined with meeting a new romantic interest and starting a family, had me forgoing those plans.

My Mentor

Jeff Swenson took me under wing early in my photo journey. He groomed me to be a photojournalist. At that time I had intended to become an AP photographer covering the Iraq War. Life had other plans for me.

Lessons

Lessons

Lynn Johnson explains the concept of placing subjects within their context in a photograph. She had me perform a number of skill building exercises, such as spending a year taking photos without looking through my viewfinder. This is one of the first images I took using that method.

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