Photographic Approach

When I first started taking photographs, I took pictures of everything. Antique glass bottles, piles of hats, and couches with their stuffing coming unstuffed. But after the images were developed I found myself scanning over them with my eyes, searching desperately for a figure, or a face, or for that someone or something that tampered with the very same environments I was photographing. It felt like robbery to include a bottle in the picture, but not the person who drank from it. It seemed like exploitation to me, to take a picture of an old couch, and not include the people who were responsible for sitting on that couch all those years, splitting the seams over time.  To me,  “ Access is everything.”

I am an instinctual civic journalist, strictly a   restless,    fly-on-the-wall, documentarian. My finger is always poised on the shutter. I work with alternate speeds and natural light, how you can adjust to freeze a falling tear, to blur a motorcyclist, or preserve the neon lights of a diner. I am a diverse shooter with a compositional mindset, employing the manual foundational components of a camera, and cover assignments that range from architectural, still life’s, portraits, news, features, sports, business profiles, restaurant reviews, food illustrations and photo stories and essays.

I have run the gamut and am still running.  I don’t give subjects enough time to be afraid of me, or camera shy, I come at them as a comfortable barrage, that they are what they are, that they know their candidacy dictates when they hear a click. The more natural, the more authentic the moment. I shoot tight and wide. Proximity to my subject is crucial. I burn the midnight oil researching subject matter, regardless of whether it’s an assignment or a long-term project.  My images are very raw, I keep my finger on the pulse and I am there for the human unveiling. I pre-visualize, but my images are rarely prepared, posed, premeditated, or perfected moments, they are just recorded illustrations.  They are never of subjects who ask me to come back on a better hair day. They are exposures of the exposed, and the underexposed, people who walk into my frame, people who are seldom in the spotlight, people who don’t even realize that they are a brilliant moment, when they are one, people that don’t even recognize they are split second masterpieces, just by doing what they always do, living their every day life in full force, tending to their routines and regularities.

I take pictures of the traditionally oppressed or those with bizarre colorful lifestyles, people who innately compose themselves brilliantly on a daily basis, listening to no direction except their own inner voices, their own gut, people who spill out strong convictions. My photographs are of the people on the split-second sidelines, the disheveled, the uninhibited, the people with a cause, who radiate confidence, who stand up for what they believe in, who without fail, may not know anything else except they do, indeed exist.  I find that I seek to photograph people with subtle strengths who won’t even admit they have any when you ask them, people with graceful and admirable peculiarities, people who maintain peaceful sanctuaries in their minds, and radiate that ease.

When I photograph I consciously and subconsciously try to relay with my camera what is temporary but what we always want to prolong:  a sense of tradition, explosive goodness, and a sense of congregation, allegiance and alliance. I photograph the private vocabulary that evolves and is eventually understood among loved ones, inner climates, cultures and deeper subcultures.

I photograph our desire for connection, comfort and compatibility which is the longing ultimately responsible for the private language that eventually grows and resonates between relations over a duration, the yearning that is solely responsible for turning strangers into lifelong friends. I attempt to capture the gritty layer that dusts the common ground. As fleeting as it may seem, before we brush it, and its significance away.