A little rambling about me. I love to create, from pictures and graphic design, to inventions and furniture. I love to help and serve. I enjoy pressure and handle stress well. I love being a father and love being around kids. I love Macs a little too much, I started a comedic Apple news website which I will get back into as soon as life slows a little. I love electronics and also love fixing them even if I’m not sure how; and I don’t; and I have. I love LA and Palm Springs. I love retro-modern mixed with a little high class. I love hand-made; check out etsy if you haven’t. I’m tall, but act short. I always try my best, even if I’m asked not too. I will always be honest and tell you if something’s good or bad, it’s painful, yet important.
I’m married to my beautiful Annie, and we have an amazing little boy named Simon and little girl named Olive.
My style is lifestyle meets photojournalism. I capture emotion and beauty. I have taught photoshop classes but oddly enough I believe photos should not need to be fixed in photoshop, and if they do you should never be able to tell. A photoshoped photo probably wasn’t a good photo to begin with.
I started out like most shooters in Nashville, shooting musicians and models. I shot every style and every genre. I think you have to to learn about yourself and gain experience beore you can discover what you were meant to do.
I think the best photos shouldn’t be posed, and I think people shouldn’t know they are getting their picture taken. I like the decisive moment and the decisive emotion. I focus on movement and timelessness.
When it comes to wedding photos, I tell people, “I don’t want your kids to make fun of your photos.” Therefore, I don’t participate trends. Style is different, it is an evolution of the eye; trends happen to a person based on what is selling at the time.
A lot of people ask me, “How long have you been taking pictures?” To be honest, I can’t remember. my first camera was a gift for my fifth birthday, it was a blue Fisher-Price 110 camera with black rubber ends with a wrist strap and a flash plug on the top that held flash cartridges with 8 flash bulbs on each side. I can remember how it felt like it was yesterday. I can remember taking pictures of my parents at Disney World. Sure lots of kids had little toy cameras, but it was my foundation. I always loved taking pictures but never imagined there was a world outside of cheap point-and-shoots.
When I was 15, I was digging around in a closet and found a camera case with an old Pentax SLR from before I was born. My mom said good luck, because she thought it was broken. I found some film, bought a battery and headed outside to take some pictures of our barn. The pictures came back a little dark so I went and bought a book on photography. After about 3 months and 30 rolls of film later, I was ready to upgrade. From that time I knew I’d be a “shooter” for life. My parents were so supportive and my mom always made sure I had all the film I needed.
Gary Watkins, a local photographer allowed me to pay him for lessons because, he said, that was the only way I would take it seriously; good advice. He showed me how to develop film, print in the darkroom, the rule of thirds, the beauty of triangles and a lot more. It was very important for me to have a teacher that was willing to criticize and critique, someone that challenged me and told me you’re doing good, but go do better. Without that pressure I would have been content and directionless. I appreciate all he did to invest in me, as well as taking me with him to my first wedding photo gig.
I came to Nashville in 2000 to go to Belmont University, to get a degree in design communications and photography. At the end of my freshman year, I interviewed to become an intern at Rocketown Records. I wanted to work with the infamous Jimmy Abegg. Jimmy and I had three amazing years together at Rocketown before they downsized and we went out on our own. We had a blast everyday. I would have done that job for free, we had so much fun. I got to learn from him on so many shoots and art direction projects. Now we aren’t together everyday, unfortunately, but we are together as often as possible. He is a brilliant artist and has a very distinct style that I appreciate, but probably the most valuable thing I learned from him was how to get the “real” out of people. If you’ve ever been in a room with him or with a world class photographer, you will realize that what makes them great is how they make people feel on the other end of the lens. It is an art all it’s own and the results are magical. I have seen guys take beautiful photos and yet have their subjects are stone cold. I learned that truly great photographers are sought after all of their life and even well past their prime because of the experience, and the connection they have with the people they capture. Jimmy is a truly great person and we will always be family.
Once I came to the realization of who I was and how I was meant to see the world, I knew I needed to find someone in the same genre, someone that saw the world like me, or at least the way I wanted to see it. I met Fred Clarke because a friend gave me his phone number and told me if photojournalism was my goal, Fred is the guy to call. I called and left a message hoping to connect and about a month and a half later I got a call back from him and he was calling from Geneva, Switzerland, where he lived and had been somewhere in Georgia or Pakistan shooting for the ICRC. I could talk about Fred and his crazy history and the amazing work he does for the International Committee of the Red Cross all over the world, but what was amazing about Fred was that he called me back! I forget to call back my closest friends a minute later. That is just the kind of person Fred is. Fred has given me a lot of perspective advice, but his generosity and commitment to others is what makes him one of a kind. He knows everyone and everyone knows him, and if they don’t, they want to. Fred loves people everyday with his life, and his career. He takes photos to save lives.