A photograph, by it's very nature, is a representation of something in the world. Abstraction allows me to delay one's recognition of that thing by emphasizing an image's color and composition over it's subject-matter. When one isn't able to easily identify the subject of a photograph, it's visual qualities take precedence.
My goal is to create an image that is both identifiable, in terms of it's reference, and abstract so that the viewer's attention moves back and forth between recognizing the subject and appreciating it's appearance.
I've always found nature to be both rejuvenating and a source of inspiration. Being outside fills me with a robust sentimentality that compels me to make art. It's a desire to preserve something unique and often fleeting about my experience.
I'm often captivated by nature's tiny details, like the frost crystals on a branch in Joe's Valley, and I also love getting lost in it's larger, more majestic vistas, like the misty Wasatch mountain-range outside of my window. When I'm in nature, I feel at home and I hope that my life continues to lead me to destinations where the outdoors are within arm's reach.
Shortly after moving to Utah, I began working with Cory Adams Photography. Here, the Adams name has been a staple in portrait photography since the early 1900's. With over 4 generations of experience informing their practice, Joe and Jon Adams taught me that the key to taking a great portrait is getting a great facial expression from one's subject. They'd often say, "Equipment and lighting are important... but if you haven't got the expression, you haven't got anything."
A genuine expression, whether joyous or melancholy, resonates emotionally with the viewer. One of the challenges any portrait photographer faces is capturing a sincere moment from his subject, something that provides insight into who that person is. Whenever I set out I take someone's picture I try to capture an expression that feels truly honest, both for the viewer and the subject.
I lived in Chicago for over a decade. It's where I received both my graduate and undergraduate degrees but, most importantly, it's is where I began to refine my abilities as an artist.
Though I lived in the city for what seems like a long time, I was continually struck by the way its architectural facade seemed to collide with nature. Adjoining lake Michigan, Chicago is subject to some pretty extreme midwestern-weather. It's taller buildings, like the Trump Tower, would sometimes disappear in a deep fog and, during the winter, it wasn't uncommon to see free-floating icebergs along the Chicago shoreline as the lake would freeze and then break apart.
If there's one thing I miss about being in the city, it's how photogenic the skyline looked during my lakeside commute. No matter what season it was, I was always able to find an interesting shot by the water.