When was the last time you watched the sun rise?
I get to see the sunrise on most every shoot day — and otherwise I don’t make a point of trying to be up before the sun!
What was one of the most interesting projects you worked on?
Easily the most interesting project I’ve worked on was a pro-bono documentary stills and video shoot in Ethiopia for the humanitarian aid agency Wide Horizons For Children. My wife and I adopted a young boy from Ethiopia, and having the chance to connect deeply to the people there, photographing and interviewing people around the country, changed me forever. I partnered with Crispin Porter & Bogusky agency upon my return, and they donated over 200 hours of kind service to produce and edit a fundraiser film for the nonprofit.
Can you remember the first time you got paid to take a photograph?
Yes! I was in college and landed an assignment to shoot James Nachtwey who was visiting for a presentation. I couldn’t have been more nervous — and I certainly didn’t get a portfolio-worthy image from the event!
What’s the most important thing you have ever lost?
The most important thing I have lost, or given up, is my sense of judging. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that many of the judgements I had when I was younger were just that; not truths. As I’ve matured (to the ripe old age of 40 today), I’ve come to embrace all manner of people, even those whom I may disagree with on certain issues. Boy have I become happier as a result!
What superpower would you want?
I believe we all have the greatest superpower lying in our possession — the capacity to sow peace. That’s the only one I want to continue developing!
When you need it, what inspires you?
I am incredibly inspired seeing cutting-edge photography and cinematography in various ad directories and magazines/blogs. I don’t see other shooters as competitors, rather as incredibly helpful sources of inspiration and fuel. The practice of creating art, and connecting to the human experience, always seems to be evolving in new ways — I couldn’t be more excited to be a photographer and cinematographer today.
What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
1. Take more time off with my family. Our kids are 7 and 9 years old, and wow are they at fun ages! We live in western Colorado so there’s no lack of fun things to do — I just to need make more time to do it.
2. Spend more time shooting pro bono projects. I seem to be really happy whenever I make time to share the stories of nonprofits. It also inspires my commercial shooting.
What is your dream assignment?
I’m a sucker for any project that shares a powerful human story — one that engages a viewer to connect more deeply to the subject, and to themselves.
What do you know now, you wish you’d known when you first started out?
Ha, that I’d actually make it as a photographer!