Duration: Shooting and assisting for six years; freelance for two years.
Staff: Two (one part-time studio manager and myself).
Education: BFA in cinematography and photography from Syracuse University's School of Visual and Performing Arts; film studies at famu (Academy of Film and Television) in the Czech Republic.
Cultural influences: Quay Brothers animations, Joel-Peter Witkin, Francesca Woodman, Francis Bacon, Sally Mann, Jan Svankmajer animations, decrepit/deserted buildings and houses, summer rainstorms, Asian-inspired design, travel, interesting looking bugs and bones, organic produce, the crazy cacophony of a busy, well-run kitchen, anchovies, stinky cheese and beekeeping.
Environment: Photography is a way of life, not my job, so I work every day, at least eight hours. I divide my time between an office in Monterey (two hours south of San Francisco) and studios in San Francisco. In San Francisco, I work 90% on location so, when I need to, I rent studio space in the Dogpatch area. My office in Monterey is an intimate space full of natural light, and just twenty minutes from the beautiful landscape of Big Sur. We are four blocks from the water, so the barking seals keep us awake and alert.
Philosophy: I always try to keep things as simple and as focused as possible; most of the time the answer is right in front of me. I love to treat the food and still-life I shoot as animate objects with a past, with thought and emotion, personifying each piece in the image. And I try to call my parents often and water the plants in front of my studio.