WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
When I was around 10 years old, a family wanted a picture taken. Being 40 years old now, this is going back 3 decades when the thought of digital cameras was barely entering the imaginations of great science fiction movies of the time. I remember taking the photo of the family with their Kodak Polaroid camera outdoors. I didn't know them and I was nervous to see their response. As they looked at it and shared it as a family, laughing and giving the thumbs up thanking me visually, I was hooked. The feeling of freezing a moment in time for people to cherish became a love of mine instantly, much like the Polaroid camera developed the photo.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
Well I approach erotic photography from this angle and I have used it as my tag line for many years under the theme of the unspoken words that need to be spoken. I fully believe that shooting nudity for example is easy, shooting naked truths is the hard part. People do not mind looking at nudity, but they don't like a story that tells the naked truths of how humans behave. When you combine the two like I have, for example, the cat fight theme I have shot a few times along with pantyhose in the wardrobe is a very sexual visual for many people. You have the cat fight fantasy and the pantyhose fetish all in one theme. But what I noticed is the cat fight and pantyhose doesn't bother anyone. It's just sexy to some and doesn't impress others. What bothers most people is when I tell others that on top of the sexy visual to capture the attention of people, the idea of vanity and ego and sadness that women fighting each other also means the loss of a beautiful friendship. It means that we have weaknesses of jealousy and that causes conflict between women. Well then people get uncomfortable, because it makes them think about themselves and their own ego, vanity and jealous feelings of others at times. What I love about this challenge is that creating art should demonstrate at times juxtapositions of humanity in behavior as well, true art should always cause a debate and just open conversation. The biggest obstacles are the closed minds that cannot see beyond their eyes and discard erotic photography as just smut when really its about exploring ourselves openly for discussion with each other and the self.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
I have had the pleasure of both and I love that I had shot in film and learned that I couldn't just make mistakes and delete them like you can in digital photography. If you make a mistake with film, you pay more money to buy another roll of film. Learning the costs made me learn how to capture the moment as perfect as possible. What I love about working in digital photography that I do prefer, is that I can take that near perfect picture in the moment and then with my photoshop skills I have developed over the past decade of using it, I can simply tweak things or create digital art. Also it is so much more environmentally friendly than a dark room, chemicals and use of film paper to produce photos. At times I miss that craft of laboring over developing one photo, but I do prefer the freedom of creating great art in a digital format.
WHAT KIND OF SHOOTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK ON IN THE FUTURE?
I would like to explore more of human nature and nature itself. I have realized that as I explore what makes me tick more, I find my photography to evolve all the time and it becomes more honest and bold with sincerity. I will always love to shoot creative ideas that range from a sexy cat fight to themes of science, religion, politics and everything in between.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
The hardest part is that when you photograph others you to publish, you put yourself out there naked and everyone will have an opinion. It seems that no matter what anyone will say or do, 50 percent of the world will agree with that person and the other 50 percent will disagree. If you succeed at making people talk about your work and are divided then you have succeeded as a true photographer and artist. But if you are shooting a wedding make sure 100 percent of the wedding party loves your work. There is photography you do for paid work and photography you do for art and exploration. If you love something and are passionate about a topic and love photography, share your art with others. No subject is off the table as long as of course no one is being harmed. There are rules and ethics in life to follow of course. If you are sincere in shooting beautiful things you love, whether a horror of life or a miracle, if you do it with a sincere pure heart others will love it. Also remember that technical skills can be learned and look for good mentors that are respected to help guide you as you grow. And remember for all of us it is always a learning evolving journey. That is what makes photography always so exciting and a beloved career.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
I love to work with short film ideas and am working on my first short film currently, The Unspoken Words. I also graduated from journalism school in 1997 and I adore shooting real life as it happens. So both film and photo journalism is a passion of mine. The only thing I find a waste of time is shooting celebrities. I don't think there is any sum of money that would get me excited to jump out of bed every morning to do that job.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
While going to college twice in my 20's, I worked as a bouncer to put myself through school and help pay tuition costs. While doing that work for almost a decade, I heard all kinds of music and fell in love with everything from soulful garage house music to hip hop, hard rock, ambient music, grunge to dance and classical music. The only genre I cannot handle is country music. Although I do like the interesting melodies of the late Johnny Cash.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
Shoot beautiful women and the miracles of life in nature itself. I also like video games even at 40 years old haha and I am a film buff who loves to catch movies. I also enjoy sports a lot. Hockey and NFL football being my first loves.