An American photographer, essayist, and educator.
Based in Tokyo, Japan.
Most of what I do and what I care about can be traced back to two primary impulses: the urge to explore and the urge to create. These have a tendency to feed into one another.
As long as I can remember, I have always been intensely curious. I have always wanted to learn, to explore, to discover. Exploration and discovery aren't enough on their own, though. It is a natural human impulse to want to share when we discover something good or significant, and my mission is to put that impulse at the center of my creative life.
I’m not content to leave things unexamined. Never have been and never will be. What this means for potential clients and collaborators is that I am dedicated to creating media that holds its value over time because it is grounded in genuine interest as well as deep personal investment in both the people around me and the world at large. I like difficult questions and long-form answers that go deep. I like abstract explorations of things more readily felt than explained. I would rather work harder to create something of more value that remains relevant over time than to follow the fads and simply churn out “content.”
Writing and photography have been major presences in my life for twenty years or more, meaning that I’ve been doing them for nearly two-thirds of my life at this point. Beginning in my teenage years, my life revolved around throwing myself at photography in every way I could. While my classmates were going on dates and running afoul of various authorities, I was spending the paychecks from my part-time job on film and dragging a view camera into the woods. I studied commercial photography and art history at Ohio University before jumping into photo assisting in Chicago. In the decade or so since then, I’ve worked in and out of photography, picking up experience and skills in a variety of places.
In addition to my creative roles, my assorted job descriptions over the years have included things like a cook at a seafood restaurant, telemarketer attempting to sell cruises (don't think I ever did), customer service rep at a department store, press operator stamping sheet metal, shelf stocker, meat-counter guy at a supermarket, digitization tech for a retirement system, warehouser of truck tires and medical devices (separate jobs), camera store clerk, and English teacher. A lot of that work experience was pretty bad, but through that experience I learned a lot about the world I never would have been privy to otherwise.
What it all adds up to isn’t simply an assortment of weird, non-transferable skills (like being able to disassemble a double conveyor broiler in under five minutes), but rather a library of human experience, both my own and everything I've learned from the people I've met along the way. Also in that library is the ever-growing sum of photographic obsessions, extensive and unpredictable research into anything and everything, an whatever else life happens to serve up.