Welcome to Classics, introduce yourself to our readers. Where are you from originally, where is home now?
I grew up near Minneapolis, lived all over the place, NYC for 20 years, and I am in Portland Oregon now.
Who or what inspired you to shoot?
My mom had a Kodak Instamatic when I was a kid and she let me use it now and then. I loved the whole process - it was the first creative thing I remember doing that meant something to me.
What was your first camera and can you recall your earliest pictures?
I had a 35mm Exakta that had belonged to my grandfather. He was a doctor and a patient gave it to him as a gift - I don’t think he knew what to do with it so it was pretty much new when I had it. I remember guessing shutter speed and f-stop combos because I didn’t have a light meter, and taking pictures of just about everything. One shot that sticks out in my head is a black and white of a friend in a top hat standing on our front lawn.
Tell us about your journey into photography.
It was a very slow burn. I thought I wanted to be a writer and went to school for screenwriting then poetry, but neither of those stuck. I tried making videos and films, and worked for years as a motion graphics artist, but none of those things were my passion. I tried acting and guitar too - nope! Photography was always there in the background like the best friend who I didn't realize was my true love until it was almost too late. We are happily married now.
How would you describe your style and aesthetic?
Visceral cinematic maybe. There is a lot of detail. And let’s face it, it’s dark. Is it moody? I guess so. Some people find the work creepy, but they must be afraid of the dark - to me darkness is where all the beauty lives.
Do you have a favorite photograph?
That's an impossible question, but what the hell - how about Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville by Robert Doisneau. I had a poster of that on my wall as a kid. I love it just as much now as I did then.
Why do you like to shoot at night?
Because of the drama - the light, the color, the heightened intensity of everything. It bores me to shoot in daylight, which seems funny to say, but there is no mystery when everything is visible.
Who are your favorite cinematographers and photographers?
I don’t follow any particular cinematographers, but I am a fan of Gregory Crewdson, and David LaChapelle still blows my mind after all these years.
What is your favorite camera?
My old Leica M6 - probably because I don’t have it anymore and I can romanticize it. The experience of shooting with it was amazing on so many levels, starting with the way it felt in my hands and the gentle sound of the shutter.
What inspires & influences you today?
I am hugely inspired by the imaginations of children - their hearts and minds are the most beautiful thing on earth. If you ever get stuck creatively, go hang out with a bunch of five year olds for awhile. I am also inspired by artists in any art form who burn their own unique brand of rocket fuel.
Where in the world would be your dream location to shoot?
This will sound lame, but wherever I happen to be shooting at any given moment is my dream location. This will also sound lame, but anywhere I haven't been is my dream location because there is something fantastic about being somewhere for the first time and seeing it with totally fresh eyes. Although, I wouldn’t mind going to Rome again for a weekend.
Do you use references for ideas? What is your creative process?
I don’t, and my creative process is a kind of intuitive free for all. Beyond that it's really just a process of doing and doing and doing, so I know what is possible in any given situation and feel open to everything. What I think I want is never what I actually want.
What are your favorite publications/websites?
Classics Magazine! I saw a magazine called The Great Discontent recently that I liked, with features on musicians, photographers, and actors. Lately I spend too much time on IG - one account I follow is __nitch - lots of great quotes about life and art.
Who is your favorite filmmaker?
If I had to pick one, Jim Jarmusch.
What is your favorite book, feature film and music album?
My favorite book is a toss up between Actual Air by David Berman, Father of Noise by Anthony McCann, and Letters to Wendy's by Joe Wenderoth. My favorite film might be a toss up between Rushmore and Broken Flowers - although any movie with Bill Murray is automatically my favorite movie. And favorite album? I’ll go with Changes One Bowie on clear vinyl please.
Any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
More night photos! With a more narrative focus. Maybe with actual humans.