When I was approached by The Inertia to put together a photo feature depicting the evolution of my work I thought it would be a breeze. A few simple clicks in some photo editing software and, ‘Voila!’ I’d be all done. However, after giving it a little thought, I realized that my original solution simply would not truly illustrate the path I’ve taken to get where I am in my career today. I will skip all the details of how I got my first camera as a child, photographed pretty much every object I saw for most of my youth and worked my way through college as a photographer shooting sorority parties. All and more is true, by the way. Instead, I think it’s most accurate to explain how my photography journey really began as a dream.
When I was about 11 years old, my mom got me a subscription to Surfer Magazine. We were living in Washington state at the time, far from any convenient surf access. Each month when the new magazine would come in the mail, I would drop everything and examine every image in the mag. I would read about all the far off places that photographers like Jeff Divine, Art Brewer and Don King would travel to in search of perfect waves and adventure. They had the best job in the world as far as I could tell, and so ensued the dream.
Fast forward to 1999. After spending a year in Maui working as a waiter and surfing every day, then traveling to Central America for a few months, I took a job in Los Angeles with the hopes of getting great experience in the business world and making some real money. That lasted about six months before I realized there was something truly lacking in my life. While I was making decent money, there was no real intrinsic reward achieved with the work I was doing. That’s when I decided to dive headfirst into surf photography. It was time for me to make my dream a reality.
Within six months of making that decision, I had moved back to San Diego. I bought a water housing and new camera gear. I started shooting photos in the water nearly every day and landed my first 1/2 page image in Surfer Magazine. One month thereafter, I was hired on as an intern in the photo department at Surfer under photo editor Jason Murray. After four months of working as an intern, I was hired on as a retained staff photographer for the magazine. I spent the next 11 years traveling the world for Surfer Mag creating my own images and finding my own adventures.
I feel truly blessed to have realized my dream and been given the opportunity to see it through. My deep-rooted passion for photography, surfing, waves and the beauty that surrounds them is what drives my work today as it did as a child. I hope you enjoy the gallery I have put together which illustrates how my work has evolved since pursuing my passion, something I believe is never too late in life to start.