Duration: Three years on my own, shooting since 1987.
Staff: Me and a few awesome assistants and retouchers.
Education: BA Philosophy, University of Colorado.
Cultural Influences: Mom’s creativity, Dad’s persistence, William Eggleston’s reality, Toulouse-Lautrec’s color, William Wegman’s drawings, Robert Bechtle’s cars, Spike Jonze’s humor, Bill Owens’s quirkiness, Thomas Campbell’s surf films, Jonathan Lethem’s novels, David Foster Wallace’s stories and KCRW’s music.
Environment: I have a wall in my office that I keep updated with images and ideas that I like. Before every shoot, I spend time sketching various concepts in my journal. When something I draw sticks in my head, and I keep returning to it, I figure out a way to go shoot it. A lot of my time is spent on my bike or in my car looking for interesting locations. I try to keep the gear to a minimum. When I’m not out shooting, I’m in a sunny hillside office overlooking the city.
Philosophy: Less is more. Making a good photo is a lot easier if you start with a good idea. There are ideas around us all the time, so I try to pay close attention to my surroundings. I’m a believer in collaboration. As Bruce Mau said: “The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight and vast creative potential.” I want my career to be about exploring that space. When I was seventeen, my parents took me to see a friend of theirs who was a career counselor. I spent four hours completing a written psychological profile, then we all sat down together to talk about what I should do with my life. Based on the test results, he said that I was an exceptionally creative kid who enjoyed working with technical equipment. And that maybe I should consider doing laboratory research on ceramics. So I’m pretty sure that photography is the right career for me, but if the photography thing doesn’t pan out, there’s always ceramics.