A little history...
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 the gravitas, but it honestly wasn't. It was down to whether I wanted to continue paying for a paper that states what should probably be self-evident, or instead, invest what little money I physically had toward building the portfolio I knew reflected my ability.
So I chose the latter, and left.
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 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.
Now I live near Seattle and work as a Product Photographer with a local e-commerce retailer. I've always wanted to be 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 better 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. 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!
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!