Where did you learn photography?
My grandmother was an art teacher at my local high school. I grew up around photography and the dark room. After school I would hang out in her classroom and play with the cameras and developing tools. Not to mention dark rooms are pretty awesome when you’re a kid. I think this is where I was influenced by photography in my early years. I then took photography classes later in high school and learned how to shoot and process film. From there I went to film school and studied motion pictures but came back to photography in the end.
What year was the then picture taken in?
The photo was taken in 2012 when I first started photographing people. Photography for me was always about escape. I would pack my stuff up in my ’87 4runner and drive off into the woods for the weekend with my camera. So getting comfortable working with people, trying to define a style, and knowing what looks good and what doesn’t was quite the learning curve.
What did you do to better your photography skills?
Honestly, just persistence and a willingness to never stop learning. I think that’s more important now in the digital age then ever before. I’d see a photo and want to know how it was made, so I’d Google or Youtube it and just try to work my way through it. When I look at my photographic heroes I still have a long way to go. That keeps me motivated.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new photographer to help them excel in their craft?
Build relationships. I cant’ stress that enough. Find other photographers and ask to learn, become friends with them, and explore together. This whole industry is so relationship based. You can be the best photographer in the world, but if you don’t have any connections or friends willing to support your work, you’re going to have a hell of a tough time.