Photo by my beautiful wife, Stacey
Have you ever made a life-changing decision that would be considered "questionable at best" by most people, but was so central to your being that you had to follow through?
That's how I ended up where I am today. I made a decision in 2013 to leave school without a degree, on the notion that creative employers care more about a portfolio showcasing my ability through tangible work, opposed to a piece of paper proclaiming I knew what I was doing. Dropping out was a decision I questioned nearly every day for years.
But I just had to go. College had buried me in debt, and it was difficult to imagine sustaining myself in Oklahoma. I was forced to choose between "paying" for the rest of school, or saving up and hitting the road to build a portfolio. I'd like to say it was a difficult decision to make, especially given its gravitas, but it honestly wasn't. I could either continue paying a ton of money for a paper that states what should be obvious, or invest what little money I had toward building the portfolio I knew reflected my ability.
I've always been drawn to the wild places, and Oklahoma leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of our world's natural beauty. Truth be told, I'd been itching to leave as long as I can remember, and this decision granted me a unique opportunity to do just that. So I quit school. sold most of my belongings (and some plasma), quit my job, and left.
That was four years ago, and I'm very happy to have recently become what I set out to be; a full-time photographer. Though not in the precise capacity as I am aiming for, I'm living a life I once seriously thought may be out of reach after having left school. What's more, life today is not dissimilar to the life I set out to live when I made the decision to leave Oklahoma.
I am now living near Seattle and working as a Product Photographer with a local e-commerce retailer. I'm a happily married homeowner in the most beautiful part of the country, surrounded 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 my camera, simply breathing the air and experiencing the beauty around me - enjoying this life while it's here in my grasp.
I seek to enjoy these places before they're gone, capture their beauty, and pass on the stories and memories they give to so many of us. More longterm, I'd like to take my career into the wild with me, marrying my two strongest passions so I might more fully experience those things the natural world has to offer.
Until then, I feel contentment in my life and livelihood, and hope this space provides to you a sense of the way I see the world. If you'd like to reach me, please don't be shy! Just shoot me a message here, and I'll be in touch!
Thanks for visiting!
I'M LEAVING SOCIAL MEDIA
In January of this year, I deleted my Facebook account, and it has been quite a liberating experience. I have more time to focus on my work and think about how to best present it in my own way. But I'm not completely off, because Instagram is owned by Facebook.
I've decided the solution is converting my social media audience over to my personal website, so they can see my work in its best light, away from the publicity of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I do still have an Instagram as of now. But soon I will delete my Instagram account as well, fully removing myself from Facebook's platform. This website will be the only place I publish future work.
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 always being there!