1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
From the time I was a kid, I was never still, and I’ve never been one to wait for things to happen to me. I’ve heard it said that only amateurs wait for inspiration; professionals just get up every day and go to work. In other words, proper artists don’t hope that inspiration will come to them, they actively seek it out.
At first I just wanted to travel and photography was a way to allow me to do that. I’ve been interested in drawing and painting since I was 10 years old and became interested in photography when I was 19.
I studied cinematography in college and took a fine-art photography class and fell in love with it. That class in still photography changed the course of my life. Filmmaking is a collaborative enterprise, usually involving crews of people and demanding constant cooperation and compromise, but still photography is a solitary craft.
I loved the idea that I could wander around unscripted, unrehearsed, looking for that serendipitous moment when an image appeared before my viewfinder spontaneously. Just walk out the door with a camera and some film in my pocket and start to work. I, alone could decide what to frame, how to build the image, what should be isolated and what should be included. I was in charge of the lighting and the composition.
Photography appealed to the independent loner in me, and it fit perfectly with my determination to spend as much of my time as possible travelling. By the time I graduated from college I had decided I didn’t want to spend my life in an office, or even a studio or film set – I wanted to spend it seeing the world, experiencing foreign cultures, and satisfying my curiosity. Becoming a photographer would offer me that world. Before long, it turned into a habit, and eventually a lifetime career.
2.What does your work aim to say?
I look for that unguarded moment and try to convey some part of what it is like to be that person, or in a broader sense, to relate their life to the human experience as a whole. We, humans, connect to one another via eye contact there is real power in that shared moment of attention when you catch a glimpse of what it must be like to be in their shoes. I think this is one of the most powerful things about photography, to relate that sensation.
3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?
My inspiration is derived from the themes I witness across dozens of projects. I’m constantly learning something new. Every time I step foot on a plane and enter a new country, or one I’ve visited a dozen times, I know that there are a multitude of experiences just waiting for me that will undoubtedly change and refine my outlook. This is not a process that ever ends, nor would I want it to. I will forever be chasing the next story and the next lesson.
Continue on #MuseumWeek Magazine.