I grew up in an extended family of educators, counselors and missionaries, all of them visionaries and idealists. In 2003, I created and administered my own non-profit community photojournalism program with 75 high school photography students and 10 teachers in six Boise-area high schools, which was featured in Photo District news (PDN) Magazind.
In 2005, I moved from Boise, Idaho to San Francisco and completed my Master of Fine Arts in Photography in 2008. Since then, I've completed a number of commissioned projects and participated in various group and solo shows around the United States. I have also been teaching photography workshops at the Harvey Milk Photo Center, which contains the largest and oldest community darkroom in the U.S. I was also invited to teach a number of classes as guest lecturer in India's premier photography college, Light & Life Academy, from October 2010 to February 2011.
San Francisco Shows:
San Francisco City Hall: SF Artst Commission and PhotoAlliance – “You Look Familiar”, Oct. 2011 – Jan. 2012 Open Studios, Oct. 2011:
- Harvey Milk Photo Center
- Dolphin Swimming & Boating Club
Rayko Photo Center
- Lightning, Lava, and Bombs – Oct. 2009
- Open Show Retrospective – Nov. 2011
Photograph & Frame, Marina District. 2008 & 2011
Bernal Heights Yoga Center (solo). May, 2007
Open Show Bay Area #17 – Gallery 291, San Francisco, CA. Oct. 2010
Open Show Bay Area #28 – SF Camerawork: “This Is Not Done”, images of India, 2010/2011. August 18, 2011
Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins
2009 Portraits Exhibition. Juror: Mary Ellen Mark
2009 International Exhibition of Fine Art Photography. Juror: Andy Adams, Flak Photo Magazine
Vermont Photographic Workplace - Portraits Exhibition, May 2010
Magazine (Print): PDN’s “Emerging Photographer” – Fall 2011 issue
Black Boots, Ink -- Interview, July 2011
Pictory Magazine – With Claire O’Neill NPR: May 18, 2011 - “Local Legends”
Oitzarisme – Curated by Constantin Nimigean, August 2011
I definitely gravitate toward “old-world” places, people and traditions in my work. I have always resisted the pull toward modernity that society exerts on all of us. I feel most comfortable and at peace amongst books, bricks, iron and stone. I feel drawn to modern-day portals into the past, waking dreams of simpler times, and folks with the courage or ignorance to protect traditions, large or small.
Since I began photographing, I’ve wanted to capture that feeling on film. I decided early on to use older, simpler tools in my process. Most of my portfolio was shot by one of two cameras: a 1950s-era Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex medium-format or a 1930s-era Graflex 4x5 “Super D” box camera with very old lenses I’ve collected over the years. Though I occasionally make silver prints in the darkroom, I primarily scan and edit my images in PhotoShop. I’ve spent the past few years refining techniques combining some very low-tech, organic processes with the latest digital technology to give you the effects that you see in my images. I never use PhotoShop filters. My techniques involve hours of tonal adjustments, dodging and burning, reduction techniques and color adjustments to the images and hand-made, scanned overlays.
While perfecting that process, however, I felt a strong desire to make that effect more directly and organically, with my hands. In 2008, I began printing cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown from ortho-litho or Digital negatives, a technique I used to complete my five-year “Swimming With Ghosts” project documenting the Dolphin Swimming & Boating Club in San Francisco’s Aquatic Park. To complete the effect for this particular project, I toned the beautiful blue prints on white watercolor paper in Earl Gray tea, to complete a good plural marriage between subject matter, equipment and medium.
But what began as a romantic desire to hold onto the past has become more of a spiritual journey. Over time, I’ve not only come to capture the look and feel of old-world stories, but to also delve deeper into the relationships between the people and places and traditions. Even deeper is the “why?” behind these relationships. I have concluded, at least in the case of the Dolphin Swimming & Boating Club, that it comes from not only a sense of community, but also an ongoing search for Self – a daily journey I like to call "group solitude". Even when members hit the water together to swim and row as friends, once they begin to settle into the mediation of each stroke, they are alone. Awareness is inverted by the vast imposition of the sea; just as aloof as a summer mountain sky, but closer, more mysterious and frightening. In the sea, we ask the same giant questions as when we stargaze, but with a thrill of intimate, immediate fear.
It is that combination of thrill and fear that I believe fuels my work. The progress of modernity is a fool’s errand, a distraction from reality. The true pioneers dive ever deeper into the swirling abyss of all the things we were too busy to explore in the past.