A little history...
Photography found me in early 2011, just after my 20th birthday. I had recently come into more money than I could handle, in the form of a Pell Grant. Instead of using the money to buy books and food, I bought my first DSLR. But I didn't get it because I loved photography. Never crossed my mind. No, my thinking was that I was getting really into longboarding with my friends and I wanted to make high quality skate videos for YouTube. However, within weeks I was enthralled with that camera, and that summer, I transferred to a school that offered degrees in creative photography.
A lot of events brought me to where I am now, but I suppose the spark that ignited this little adventure of mine was a decision I made in 2013; to leave school without a degree on the idea that creative employers may be more convinced by a portfolio showcasing my ability through tangible work and experience, as opposed to a degree simply claiming I've done the legwork. Dropping out was a decision I questioned nearly every day for years, and it led me through some really dark periods filled with despair and hopelessness and total regret.
But I just had to go. College had buried me in debt, and it was difficult to imagine ever being debt-free as a creative in Oklahoma. I was forced to choose between prolonging that debt, or saving up as much as I could waiting tables and hitting the road to build a portfolio.
I'd like to say it was a difficult decision to make, especially given the gravitas, but it wasn't.
I've always been drawn to the wild places, and Oklahoma leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of the world's natural beauty. Truth be told, I'd been itching to leave that place as long as I can remember, and I was facing perhaps my last opportunity to do just that. So I sold most of my belongings (and some plasma), quit school, quit my job, and left.
That was seven years ago.
I'm very happy (and relieved and satisfied) today to have become a full-time photographer, as I set out to be. Though nothing in life is as precise as we aim for, I'm living a life I had once seriously thought may be out of reach after having left school. What's more, life today is not so dissimilar to the life I had imagined for myself when I made the decision to leave Oklahoma.
I live near Seattle with my soul mate and work as a Product Photographer with an e-commerce retailer. I've always wanted to live way up here, surrounded so immediately by coasts and forests and mountains and glaciers and desert and everything else somebody like me could want out of life. When I'm not in the Studio, I'm often in one of those diverse places with my wife and/or my camera, breathing the air and enjoying the beauty around me - while it's still here.
I seek to personally experience these places before they're gone, so I can better appreciate the value in living this life, so I might capture the beauty that flows from them and pass them on in a plea for empathy and stewardship, if not a greater awareness. For now, this comes second to a day job, but someday soon I will marry my appreciation for protecting our planet with my passion for visual narration.
Until then, I feel contentment in my life and livelihood, and hope this space provides to you a reflection of how I see the world around me as I continue to build upon my skills as an artist and expand my portfolio. If you'd like to reach me (for literally any reason), don't be shy! Just shoot me a message here, and I'll be in touch! I love making new friends.
Thanks for visiting!
LEAVING SOCIAL MEDIA
In January of 2019, I deleted my Facebook account.
I now have more time to focus on my work and think about how to best present it in my own way.
I'm still attached to social media through Instagram (@wanderlovemedia), but I've been brainstorming how to use it in a way that does not force me to rely on the platform or share too much through it.
I've decided the solution is converting my social media audience over to my personal website as best I can, so they can see my work in its best light, away from the publicity of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This website will be the only place I publish future work in its full capacity.
If my work interests you and you'd like to continue following my life away from social media, the best way is to go here, give me your email address, and receive an update any time I publish new work. (It won't blow up your inbox, I promise).
Thanks for being here!