If you could tell your younger self something you’ve learned along the way, what would you say?
Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for quality. Understand the difference!
What is the most unique or special place you’ve worked/done a shoot?
I've been fortunate to shoot in unique and remote locations all around the world, but my favorite is still one of the first weddings I did. It was held where the couple met, at Pepperdine University and just about every part of the wedding was volunteered or donated by friends. The couple had met at the President’s house and he donated the space. A friend did all of the flowers, another did the catering. All of the bridesmaids and groomsmen teamed up and my photography was their wedding present to the couple. There was so much love and support around this couple that you could literally feel it in the air. It was a beautiful, emotional experience and it was truly amazing to be a part of it!
What inspired you to become an image maker?
At the age of 30, I found myself face-up, on a hospital gurney, staring at the ceiling in an emergency room, as a swarm of concerned doctors and nurses called a stroke code on me. Paralyzed and helpless, it was the single most frightening experience of my life. The 80-hour work weeks and the stress of my corporate job as my agency's youngest-ever Vice President had caught up with me.
After I recovered, I knew I needed a change. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone –go somewhere I had never been and do something I had never done. When I saw that the women that had done the flowers for my wedding were doing the flowers for a fine art film photography workshop in France, I was inexplicably drawn to it. I had never even held a camera before, but I reached out to the lead photographer and asked if I could join. She explained that it wasn't really appropriate for an amateur, but that I was welcome anyhow. So, I rented my gear and off to France I went.
It's no exaggeration to say that the week-long retreat was life-changing for me. I came back so rejuvenated and inspired. But, my fate was sealed when I got my film scans back. I was completely blown away by the images I had created. Within 6 months, I left my corner office and the 6-figure salary that went with it behind and started my own business. *the first image attached is from my first roll of film.