I grew up in the Midwest and moved to San Francisco in my early twenties. I fell in love with all that was California – the weather, the natural beauty, the people, and ultimately my wife. We raised our daughter in San Francisco until she was 9, at which point we took a sharp turn by moving to New York City. We have been living in Brooklyn for the past 4 years, but we still spend a lot of time out West. I feel the same way in New York that I did when I first discovered California – and we are lucky to be able to experience all that life offers on both coasts. I've always loved pictures, especially pictures of people. Baseball cards were my first photographic obsession. Then came album covers and music magazines. A little later, I discovered more serious documentary photography, but my interest still came from the same place – a deep curiosity about other people and a desire to share something of their experience. This desire remains the driving force behind my work as a photographer.
I always find myself going back to images that somehow convey a vital human energy. Some pictures just feel alive in a way that others don't. I think this energy comes from the unselfconsciousness of their subjects. Most people present a different face to the camera than they do in everyday life; it's as if a switch goes off as soon as a camera comes out. My job as a photographer is to get them to flip that switch back and to reveal themselves as they would in an unguarded moment.
Photographic skills- use of lighting, color, composition, etc…are all important to creating beautiful images, but these are all secondary to people skills. My primary focus is on forging a bit of a relationship with the people I am photographing, and on creating an environment in which they feel comfortable letting themselves be seen.