Facebook has been a great online social atmosphere for me to find old friends and make new ones. It's where I met professional photographer Richard Gary, who works in editorial and advertising and currently has a fine art show at The Center for Photography at Woodstock.
How did you get started in photography - any "formal" training?
I started on my high school yearbook staff. The situations of shooting candid photos, and low light sports events gave me an early understanding of the camera's capabilities. After I attended a College in Maryland I landed my first job as a printer in a museum. There I studied printing in depth. At that time, I also had master classes with Master printer George Tice. After a period of time I became supervisor of photography for the Mariners Museum in Va.
What cameras or techniques do you use?
Anything from 8x10 film to 35m digital. It usually depends on what the job calls ask, or what I feel like experimenting with at the time.
Who are your mentors (in photography)?
Mark Laita, Ilan Rubin, Gregory Heisler, have all been big parts of my early development when I assisted.
Have you experienced any setbacks or different treatment along your photography career that you would attribute to being a photographer of color? (this question is optional)
I've never had a issue being a photographer of color, but I would like to see more people of color in the advertising, and editorial world at all levels.
When did you realize you could make a living at photography? Describe your journey towards becoming a pro.
I'm still wondering if I can make a living as a photographer, but thats another story. After leaving Va,my wife and I moved to NY. I become a Black And White printer and an assistant. My printing background allowed me to get employment immediately. Many of the photographers that I printed for soon started me assisting. My goal was to learn as much about the business of photography as possible.
A few month later I became studio manager, an assistant for a well know photographer at the time. After about a year or so I started freelancing as an assistant a couple a days a week and sending my portfolio out as much as possible. After a while I was to the point I could stop assisting and just shoot. The first year was hard. I think I used same piece of foamcore for a year because of very little income.
I would borrow stands and printing services from my friends, and they borrowed from me for what I could give.
What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
I hope to always love what I do. To still get excited when I see the image materialize from just an idea. And to give back to future photographers the way photographers In my pass supported me.
What's your dream photography project?
I would absolutely love to work with Fabian Barron on anything. I think he's a genius.
What are you shooting now?
I just finished a shoot for BlackBook , and Zink magazine. And I am currently in a group show at The Woodstock Center of Photography.