Im paid to
do what I'd
do for free!
All I will ask of life, is a wage to provide for my sustenance, gas for my car, a roof over my head (and film archive), and film to feed my ever
of my newborn daughter Sabrina, that I would be saying these words, and living
this life. What started as baby pictures soon developed into a hobby, and
then as a artistic expression, and now, as a means of communication. A close
analogy would be our ability to talk and be understood. At first, halting,
with other comprehending little, then soon , they begin to recognize what your
are saying, and then growth and experience bring on youthful slang (photo
styles) and use of trends, seen of others. Later experience and continued
innovation allows people to gather deeper meaning in your words, and become a
catalyst for action and greater thought. Just as there are people who whisper
profound words, or those that shout and spit on your face with their
impassioned phrases, there to is a photographic dialogue that exists.
Who would have known that after nearly 20 years, with my earliest photographs
For me, I am on a clear journey on that path of development, to places, people and
experiences unknown, and that suits me fine.
I f you have read to this point , you maybe wondering how and where I learned to photograph images like these and why I have not mentioned much of my
schooling. Well, because there really aint a lot of it there. I by passed most of my military photography training, with skills and experienced over
time and competition as an avid amateur photographer, on a very tight budget. Reading photo magazines, trying the techniques described, and researching the
best buys for camera gear, that I bought bit, by bit. In fact most of my film archive (binders that can be stack 20 feet tall), is black and white film
that I loaded from bulk rolls and processed myself. When I entered military service 16 years ago, I immediately sought shooting opportunities to help base
papers, organizations around the bases Ive been stationed at. Another learning resource I use is community photo clubs and the competitions they
Competitions with critiques are especially good since knowledgeable
comments are so great to learn about your own pictures.
Eventually I became a
judge myself, and have done so for several years. All this was critical to
the great success I had when I was awarded the special opportunity (after ten
years of pumping aviation fuel for the Air Force), to attend the Rochester
Institute of Technology, NY, as part of the Military Photojournalism Program.
It was there that my years of fine art and nature/ scenic photography, made a
monumental leap to photojournalism. Along with the many days of sleep
deprivation associated with the whirlwind year I spent there, I now had the
fundamental groundwork of how I could take the emotional power of "artistic"
images and the journalistic power to provoke, to speak whole ideas and
thoughts with just my photos. Since then, some six years ago, the candle has
been burning at both ends, and there is no end in site--just the road signs
pointing to the most wonderful journey in my life.
I thank-you for coming to the Three Oaks Photo website and viewing my images.
I hope they help you in your journey.
Right now photojournalism is so much an integral part of who I am and what I
do that the distinction between professional and private life has been
obscured. I live eat, and sleep, so that I can continue to tell the story of
others through the art of photography. It is a challenge that I step up to
each and every day, to see how I can better prepare for my shoots, know a
little more about my subjects, mentally train myself not to freeze, but to
shoot when an unexpected "decisive moment happens. As with any art or craft,
your inherent need to do better, and better, tells you that a true master of
ones own art, is never completely satisfied. That void for me is extremely
powerful. For each time, I pour more and more of myself into perfecting my
skills, as I do that come closer to the level of spontaneity and imagination,
that I will bring me closer those I photograph.
Often, midway through my 18 hour days of imaging (its not work), I hear the
phrase, "Get A Life," and right now as I write this I realize that I do have
a life, in fact, many lives--the people who I have focused on, and shared with
the rest of the world through my pictures, are all people who have contributed
to who and where I am right now. Yes, my life is immensely rewarding, and
something I want to continuing after I retire from military service, in a few