Duration: Three years.
Location: Brooklyn, New York.
Education: Art school dropout.
Career path: I left art school in Portland, Oregon, because I had grown tired of the US higher education system, particularly its predatory financial practices. I began working as a bicycle mechanic. After meeting a working photographer, I moved from Oakland, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to work for him. Eventually, I “left the roost” to find work for myself in New York City.
Artistic influences: Like most creatives my age, I’m always scrolling through Instagram and exposing myself to different work, which is not always photographic. Specific artists and photographers that come to mind are Micaiah Carter, Maurizio Cattelan, Ana Cuba, David Hockney, Geoff McFetridge and László Moholy-Nagy. Behind it all is my dad, who is a graphic designer. Because of him, I grew up with a critical approach to art and design.
Favorite projects: My soccer and food photography. Soccer is a bit of an obsession for me, and for the last few years, I’ve been trying to push my work in that direction. Also, my personal project which is focused on youth soccer academies around the world. It took a while for this project to take shape, but now I’m more excited about it than ever.
Work environment: I have a desk in a big studio that I share with a few other photographers. The studio is very “lived in.” We have huge windows and a shooting space large enough to share between all of us. We also have plants, lots of records, pots from my pal Isaac Nichols at Group Partner, a Brooklyn-based ceramic studio, and everything else to complete the look and feel of an upscale college dorm. Though our practices are separate, we all work really well together and have strong creative and personal bonds that make it easy to sort through issues, bounce ideas and work off of each other, and have a good time.
Approach: When sending an edit, I usually add images with a bit of personality or humor. They may not always be the most flattering, perfect or conventional, but they exemplify the dynamism I try to provide within my work. At the end of the day, I’m a bit of a “yes” person—maybe to my detriment. But freelancing is anything but consistent, so if a job comes my way and I’m available, there’s a good chance I’m going to take it.
Aspirations: In terms of financial viability and sustainability, I need to be prioritizing commercial and advertising work. As rewarding as editorial work may be, it’s no secret that budgets are dwindling—magazines are reorganizing, downsizing their photo departments or shutting their doors entirely. Food and beverage photography, along with my soccer and athletic work, seem to be two markets for me to try branching out to in a commercial sense. Some hopes I have for the future are expanding the mediums at my disposal, taking more risks and advancing myself even further.
Philosophy: Try to be eager, tenacious and hardworking. The photo industry is changing rapidly, and with it, the services that photographers provide. I want to be someone who innovates within my industry.
Fun fact: I’ve never thought that photography is a perfect medium or even the best expression of my creativity and problem solving. It is, however, one that I feel I’ve harnessed in a unique way. The practical knowledge I have shapes my ability to translate my ideas, and any advancement makes me better at my practice.