Growing up in Kansas I had a lot of opportunities to spend time outside, usually hunting or fishing. I hate to admit it, but at the time I didn’t pay much attention to the landscapes around me. I did, however, learn to really love being outside. For me, my first forays into photography were an excuse to be outside and that ‘excuse’ is still a major driving force for me to be behind the camera. I like being outside, I like being out away from it all. I’d like to be able to say something deeper than that about why I choose to make photographs, but “I like to” is the most honest thing I can come up with.
A common question for photographers seems to be “what do you hope to achieve with your photography?” Honestly I struggle with that question too. I want my photography to connect me to the landscape around me, I want photography to drive me to go outside and to really be there when I’m outside, not just having my body be outside but my mind still thinking of everything that I need to do or should have done or will have to do tomorrow or the next day. Having a camera with me does make me see the world much differently than in my pre-camera days…it does make me more aware of the world around me and it does help me to be more fully present.
I also want to capture the experiences I have while being outside so that I can share them with others. I’ve always been inspired by other photographers who could make me feel like I was there in their photograph or make me feel like I very much wanted to be there. That’s something I aspire to achieve with my work. I want people to experience what I experienced when I clicked the shutter, not just visually, but to also try and give you a sense of what it was like to have been there. And of course, I want my photographs to bring joy to people that see them; either in the memory of a place, the excitement of seeing something new, or maybe seeing something in a photograph of a place they have driven by hundreds of times but never really noticed before, or maybe just seeing the sheer beauty that can exist in the world around us.
My work has appeared in several magazines including Kansas! Magazine, Farm and Ranch Living, Shutter Bug, Manhattan Magazine, Kansas Travel Guides, Kansas Outdoors , The Furrow and Backpacker Magazine. My photos have also been used in calendars, book covers, text books, corporate reports, and corporate websites. I enjoy teaching photography classes and workshops through UFM in Manhattan, Kansas and also doing private workshops for interested individuals.