It doesn’t matter what I’m shooting, being an advertising photographer for me is not about leaving a signature style but about finding what’s right for the concept, finding the best way to communicate the right message with the right technique. I believe photography should always be a lens on what’s happening in the world at any given moment — work that is in sync with the times, if not a little bit ahead. And I believe that my story is told in my work.
Being born and raised in Buffalo NY, a town that defines itself on hard labor and harder winters, I learned early on about being held to a standard of living that reflected these beliefs — whether it was staying up all hours of the night to finish my drawings or pushing myself to do those extra laps after tackling drills, I felt the results and I began to understand how practice makes perfect.
As the son of a contractor, I also learned to not be afraid to get your hands dirty and at the end of the day, put everything you have into what you’re doing to create something, something bigger than yourself. When it came time for my early photography career I wanted to learn from the best and I landed in San Francisco where I found a like-minded community of perfectionists doing great work for clients like Apple, clients who were always fighting for great ideas and excellent design.
The inherited ideals to keep moving forward, to build for the future, led my family and I to Minneapolis at a time when the ad world was just taking bigger hold there. I found work with creatives there that were leaning into conceptual advertising and I thrived being part of that scene, developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the business of advertising, the agency world and the role the art director must play.
With every job now having very different needs and parameters - what used to be silo’d is now integrated, production can feel like I am hopping onto a moving train so I value the role that my experiences play in keeping me grounded, able to respond wisely. The problem solver in me loves the process of what happens before we even get on set- the partnership and collaboration and fearlessness when it comes to thinking about what makes a fantastic image or film, integrating stills and motion together. I love this fluidity and how I’ve evolved as a result. Now based in LA, I am inspired anew — continually finding opportunities to hone my director and DP skills, and taking on projects that combine my passion for travel, people and portraits.
In another lifetime, I would love to be a portrait painter, for the same reason I love to take pictures or shoot film- I want to expose a truth and make it all seem very simple. When you start with a great idea, the process should be effortless. And it’s my job to make it look that way.