Where are you from?
Born and raised in Albuquerque, NM but current home base is Bentonville, AR
Before being a photographer, tell us what you wanted to be?
I grew up racing motocross and always wanted to go pro with that. I eventually grew wise and pursued school over motocross. I got my degree in mechanical engineering and worked the cubicle life for 10 years before becoming a professional photographer.
Tell me about the moment you decided to become a photographer?
I had been working as an engineer for 10 years and photography was just a side hustle. I got the opportunity to shoot in India for 2 weeks but didn’t have enough vacation days to make it happen. I put in a request for time off without pay. They came back with a firm no… I gave them my 2 weeks notice 2 weeks before my flight took off and haven’t looked back.
What was the best advise you received when you started your photographer carrier?
I have learned so many amazing things from tons of amazing people that it’s hard to choose just one. The best piece of education I ever got as a photographer would have to be Foundation Workshop. I also learned a lot from Zack Arias when I was first getting into photography and still to this day will yell to myself “head in a clean spot”.
Can you define photography?
For me there are two sides of photography: the documentation side, where the image needs to truly represent the moment in an unaltered way. Then the artistic side, where the images need to have an interesting and powerful characteristic that help them be unique.
For you, what makes a good photographer?
Someone that is passionate about what they create. Someone who is willing to put in the effort needed to make an image instead of just taking a snapshot.
For you, what makes a good photograph?
Light. Moment. Composition.
What is your biggest challenge today?
The day-to-day business aspect of being a photographer. What most people don’t think about when starting a business is the actual business side of things. All they know is they have a hobby they love and that they can make money doing it. In reality, you end up spending a lot more time on the business side of things then on the creating side.
Tell us about the day you felt most proud about your work?
I love shooting weddings and documenting our couples stories. And I’m extremely proud when those couples enjoy and cherish the images we make for them. However, my proudest moments are when I get to document my own family and those little moments that pass by way too fast.
Tell us about the relationship you have with other photographers? How important you feel that is.
I love the photography community! I’m pretty active in a handful of groups, as well as my Instagram. Working from home most of the time, I feel it’s important to be involved with others in the industry. They are kind of like your coworkers. So you can learn a lot from the people that do things differently than you, but at the same time, you have a responsibility to help others grow too. Making the entire industry as a whole, stronger can only help everyone to succeed. Plus my wife is a photographer, so it’s really important for me to have a great relationship with her 🙂
Can you tell us an advise - photography or business tip - that somehow made your career evolve at any point?
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” – Isaac Newton
Everyone in this industry is where they are because of the people that came before them. Freely use people as inspiration, but try not to be a copycat. If you can put your own spin on an idea, then you will elevate your own work as well as everyone else’s.
All in all, I would like to thank the community for your incredible dedication and help that you give to all professionals. I am so glad I can call myself a rocker from now on…!
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