I’m what Cornell Capa considered to be a “concerned photographer.” These days, just about any photographer who is sensitive to what feels like a world of multiplying societal issues must qualify. I have a particular interest in protecting the environment as well, and the two go hand-in-hand now that we’ve entered the Anthropocene – a geological period in which humanity is impacting the very nature of Earth.
I’ve become interested in expressing my concerns photographically, which includes documenting those who are culturally underrepresented. Participation in the Women’s March on Washington and other social justice events, and a relationship to members of the Lakota Sioux in Standing Rock, North Dakota, has produced imagery that intends to influence in viewers an empathetic position. Recent time spent navigating the figurative minefield of Afghanistan was an intense experience that further drives my sense of urgency to capture and convey the cultural heritage of fragile societies that are on the brink of either destruction or implosion. I can name several; sometimes erosion is hard to detect until the bottom drops out.
Having lived in several countries and spent time in well over 50 has imbued my photographic perspective with a certain sensitivity that comes from fully immersive travel experiences. I only began photographing seriously about 15 years ago – long enough for some, late for embarking on a lifetime passion. That said, I wasn’t quite ready before then, preoccupied as I was with living in Saudi Arabia or Singapore, or adjusting to five years of life in Japan. There was a sort of inventory of life experiences I had to absorb before translating my philosophy, which took years to fully congeal, into a photographic vision. I’m grateful for the necessary time spent in creative gestation.
It’s also helped that I’ve been in marketing for more than 25 years, having earned my credentials and several awards in the business world. This has chiseled and honed a significant facet of my creative style, which spans corporate strategy, graphic design, copy writing, video production, web development and most anything that has required creative ideas to shape rhetorical messaging. I’ve been lucky to work professionally as the person I actually am.
The takeaway is that we are all inherently connected. I’m baffled by the adopting of knee-jerk political positions that build walls around narrow-minded and homogeneous thinking, which itself springs from fear. Real solutions don’t come about through exclusion, but (however trite this might sound) acts of inclusion – whose root word “include” is an apt description for the container in which we all live: Planet Earth. Contrary to forces trying to pull us apart, the colorful threads of diversity are what bind the world closer together, much like an Afghan rug or a handmade Mexican scarf, whose strength is derived from the alternating warp and weft of their fibers.
Our happiness and, I suspect, very survival depends on taking an interwoven approach.
Selected Image, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum
Best in Show, Photography Showcase
First Place, Islands Magazine Annual Competition
First Place, Launch of Real World Magazine
Winner, YDP 2014 Int’l Street Photography
Artistic Merit Awards, Islands Magazine
Merit Award, Black & White Magazine
Finalist, Black+White Photographer of the Year
Honorable Mention, Islands Magazine
Honorable Mention, The Home, Profotio
Featured Artist, La Lettre de la Photographie
22° Below, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA
Memphis, Costa Mesa, CA
Aon Center, Los Angeles, CA