So why me? Where do I come from? What have I done?
I’m glad you asked. For starters, I’ve been a professional freelance photographer for 19 years and counting. I cut my teeth on regional travel stories for magazines, which looking back, was foreshadowing of some pretty amazing career highs. I’ve produced images for more than 1,000 stories on everything from culinary creations to breathtaking architecture. I’ve shot politicians, entertainers, visual artists, world-class chefs and Fortune 500 CEOs. On assignment, I’ve traveled through Ireland’s rocky, otherworldly Burren region near the mighty Cliffs of Moher. And spent solitary winter days shooting surfers braving the swells of an early March storm off Cape Hatteras.
Years in The Industry
Back home, I shot stories that gave insight into the triumphs and struggles of everyday heros. I zoomed across the skies at 180 mph in helicopters with two medical evac crews as they responded to emergency calls for help. I shadowed a brain surgeon through a 12-hour day of operations, close enough that I could have touched a human brain. I spent an emotional day with a distressed, but hopeful couple and their preemie twins in N.I.C.U.
On the other end of the spectrum, I rode with a UPS driver as he covered his daily route. I spent a year documenting the training of a Golden Retriever puppy destined to be a service dog. And with (only) 6 hours of training, I jumped solo out of a Cessna 182 from 3000 feet to cover a skydiving story.
In Love With Monochrome
Years Digital Printing
I fell in love with the monochrome image almost 30 years ago in the darkroom. In the winter of 1995, I made my first digital prints on an early Epson photo printer.
In the span of of a few years, I had experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone and changed how I viewed the world. And I enjoyed my work in ways I’d only dreamed of as a high schooler with my first Pentax K1000. As my skills and connections increased, new opportunities found me. In 2009, the Pennsylvania Winery Association hired me to shoot harvest season. Photography plus wine? I was in my element. And then the most exciting thing happened. I landed a contract with AAA World Magazine (readership of nearly four million!) to shoot travel stories.
One of my most memorable assignments? ―Shooting Mendoza, Argentina’s wine region. I also shot wine producing regions from Central Virginia to the New York Finger Lakes. When there weren’t grapes to shoot, I was living on a catamaran capturing the beauty of the British Virgin Islands; or kissing Ireland’s famous Blarney Stone as I motored the coast between Dublin and Galway. Stateside, I spent 12 days on the road documenting quaint, historic beach towns from New Jersey’s Barnegat Lighthouse to South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach.
Photography is a balance of physics and art, math and chemistry that I find fascinating. At 13, I discovered the joys of darkroom printing. By the time I was 17, I was hooked on manipulating the enlarger and agitating the chemicals. From then, I knew that the print would always be the culmination of my artistic vision.
Although I sold my darkroom years ago, I still craft my own prints, though now it’s done with carbon-based inks in daylight. My fine art images, silver and carbon, have been viewed in dozens of solo and group exhibitions, and my prints are held in several public and private collections in the US and abroad.
From very early on, life has had designs on me giving back to the photo community. It started near the end of the last millennium when I was invited to serve on the board of directors for the Doshi Center for Contemporary Arts. Around the same time, I began teaching photography privately to a small group of adult photo enthusiasts who wanted to up their games.
And early into this new century, a friend who was assistant director for an urban afterschool arts organization, Danzante, asked if I’d be interested in developing a photography program for their teens. I jumped in with a bag full of Polaroid Land cameras I’d been scavenging from flea markets over the years. I saw my younger self in the kids’ excited faces as they pulled apart their exposed and developed images.
In 2015, I accepted an adjunct instructor position at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, where I’ve taught everything from 4-week programs, through advanced imaging classes for BFA and MFA students.
"I Am a Photographer"
I’ve often pondered that statement, wondering if my career choice defined me. In reality, my love of art and science, and my inability to sit still for too long, or do the same thing everyday has directed my life. Crafting images definitely brings clarity to my world.
Thanks for reading. If you see me in a wine bar or a coffee shop, stop by and say hello.
More Than Published Credits
Here is a small selection of my tear sheets
- 717 Magazine
- AAA World Magazine, North East & Mid Atlantic editions
- Baltimore Magazine
- Central Penn Business Journal
- Central PA Magazine
- Coastal Living Magazine
- District Administration
- Decorating... The Professional Touch (Book)
- Decorating Solutions Magazine
- Frontline Magazine
- Harrisburg Magazine
- Homes and Gardens of South Central PA Magazine
- Lehigh Valley Magazine
- Lancaster New Era
- Mode Magazine
- NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands
- PA Project Oscar
- Patriot News
- Susquehanna Style Magazine
- Susquehanna Life Magazine
- Success Magazine
- Sage Magazine
- University of Pennsylvania, Philanthropy in Action Magazine
- Uptown Magazine
- Westways Magazine
- Window Fashions, Design & Education Magazine
- Window Fashion Vision Magazine
For the past 15 years, trees have inspired my photography. I’ve always aimed to show their beauty, vulnerability and majesty. After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, my goals broadened to include how they share our spaces, affect our micro climates and enrich our lives.
With a new series I’m currently working on, I aim to juxtapose the beauty and purpose of urban trees with their needs and ours, contrasting their survival with their demise. I've always endeavored to portray trees with a sense of dignity and majesty. I look for images that describe our symbiotic relationship with trees and express their intersection with our existence.
I appreciate color photography. My travel images wouldn’t be the same without it. But sometimes I feel the beauty and visual familiarity of color distracts from the intended message. I believe that working in black and white has the ability to remove this level of distraction, encouraging a more intimate experience with the images.
I’ve loved black and white printing since 1988. In high school it was a traditional darkroom; today I print digitally. In my process, my goal is to produce prints with a wider tonal range than what was typical with my traditional darkroom prints, and that will last a lifetime, or two. I also strive to have a minimal impact on the world around us.
- 2010 Portraits of Trees, Cornerstone Coffee House, Camp Hill PA
- 2010 Drawn to Abstraction, Oyster Mill Playhouse, Camp Hill PA
- 2009 Harrisburg Symphony Show House Fundraiser, Harrisburg Symphony, Harrisburg PA
- 1999 The Pow Wow, The Bead Shop, Harrisburg PA
- 1999 Abstracts of the City, Purple Moon Gallery, Harrisburg PA
- 1998 A Study in Dance, Purple Moon Gallery, Harrisburg PA
- 1997 A Study in Dance, The North Street Cafe, Harrisburg PA
Selected Group Exhibits
- 2015 Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Biennial Juried Show, Los Angeles, CA
- 2015 Atwater Arts Walk, Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA
- 2009 Memories of the Sea, Arts at 510, Harrisburg PA
- 2005 The Paper Lion Gallery, Lemoyne PA
- 2004 The 10th Muse, Harrisburg PA
- 2002 The New Cumberland Art Fair, New Cumberland PA
- 2001 Annual Juried Art Auction, WITF (Local PBS Affiliate) , Harrisburg PA
- 1999 Annual Juried Art Auction, WITF (Local PBS Affiliate) , Harrisburg PA
- 1997 Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Doshi Center for Contemporary Art, Harrisburg PA
- 1995 Student Honors Semi-Annual Photography Show, Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg PA
- 1994 Student Honors Semi-Annual Photography Show, Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg PA
I'm humbled by the generosity and kindness expressed by my colleagues and clients. Thank you
-Christine Conard ShultzDigital, Social and Consumer Engagement Consulting; Perpetual Student of Online Marketing Strategy
-Sandy EckertIndependent Writing and Editing Professional
-Angelique CaffreyPerpetual Word Nerd (a.k.a., Crackerjack Content Writer)
-Victoria BehmHealth, Wellness and Fitness Professional
-Janeen LatinExecutive Director at UCP Foundation of Central PA
-Len BoccassiniFoodidude Productions® • Creator of Foodidude.com and Foodidude Exclusives™ • Freelance Writer
-Lori Baker PizzarroOwner & Creative Director, Design Department
-Patti HillAccount Executive at Martin Communications, Inc.
-Ed KiggensDirector Digital Communications at University of Pennsylvania (Former Creative Director AAA Mid-Atlantic Magazine)
All of the Fun
I'm not a big communicator. But when I have something to share, I try to make it count. My newly designed Newsletter will contain writing, content and surprises that I won't be sharing anywhere else.
Join me, won't you?