What a journey it has been in all it's iterations and incarnations. I knew early on a creative life was essential to the soul. I've been a moving target all these years and my photographic arrows tend to fall toward many different disciplines. I've been a travel photographer, a sports photographer, a people photographer, a fine art photographer, a child photographer and a working cinematographer.
Always beginning again. Always bringing that fragile, questioning, raw "beginning energy" to the next project.
I'll never forget the master Japanese director, Akira Kurasawa, having accepted his Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement, stating that he was simply a beginner, a student. This was not false pride, this was, to my way of thinking, an acknowledgement of the power of learning without dogma, free of old thought and form. Seeing with new eyes unbound from the past. Beginning energy is to be cultivated and cherished.
My photographic peregrinations have taken me to Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Turkey, England, France, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Italy, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, Botswana, Mozambique and Swaziland.
I was born and raised on a little island called Manhattan. Frank says, "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." I was the proudest 23-year old on that island when I got the June cover of Modern Photography. I thought the photo world would willingly open all it's treasures that summer. I proposed two exciting and personally challenging assignments to New York Magazine: documenting the scaffolding encircling the Statue of Liberty before it's renovation and spending an entire day and night on Ellis Island photographing all the rooms including the crematorium, medical rooms and great hall before its historic renovation. I am a first generation American myself, my Italian father having passed through Ellis Island himself in 1911. Standing on scaffolding on a windy November day staring at Miss Liberty's face literally an arm's distance away high above New York Harbor was a thrilling experience I will never forget. To be that intimately close to that famous stern face that has greeted waves of hopeful immigrants was definitely a singularly stellar moment in my life. The Ellis Island assignment was also a very personally rewarding experience. Ellis Island before renovation was a raw and wild place with nature outside encroaching through the windows, an eerie testament to a time long past. All along I was pestering Life Magazine just about every week until finally, probably out of complete exhaustion and capitulation, its editor hired me to shoot five assignments for them: Santa Claus University, Shroud of Turin, Saturday Night in Newton Kansas, a graduation at an acclaimed elementary school in Harlem and a portrait of the then head of the National Art Museum in Washington, DC.
Seventeen years ago I felt the call of "beginning energy" and became involved with 16mm and 35mm film production; in 1999, I worked as a high definition cameraman on “Swingin’ with the Duke,” a 90-minute PBS special celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Duke Ellington. Imagine as a jazz fan, meeting and filming jazz luminaries for an entire week such as Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves and Illinois Jacquet. Additionally, I worked as cameraman on the highly acclaimed HBO children’s series, “A Little Curious,” working alongside an Academy awarding winning cinematographer, Dyanna Taylor. More recently, I worked with Randy Travis on a super 16mm mini-documentary. In 2008, some of my HD footage was used in Hillary Clinton’s memorable presidential campaign commercial, "The 2AM Phone Call at the White House."
In 2009 I was the cinematographer for a 19-minute film short entitled, "Heat Lightning," an homage to those wonderful film noire's of the 40's and 50's. What great fun attempting to recreate that genre's distinctive filmic look.
Currently I am shooting still images exclusively for a photographer-run photo agency called Blend Images. Their mission is to represent imagery that reflects the world as we know it...ethnically diverse and multiculturally rich, with a focus on authentic and relevant portrait and lifestyle photography.
I am excited to again be teaching for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops next summer. My course is called, "Photographing Children Naturally." The inspiration for this workshop is a 4-month immersion in Bali, Indonesia documenting everyday life with 2 children living in a home made entirely of bamboo , illuminated by the gloriously diffuse natural light of that island.
I live in Lamy, New Mexico, an historic, authentic western village that was the site of a famous Fred Harvey hotel called the El Ortiz Hotel that catered to the railroad passengers traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago and stops in between. I live with my three muses--my wife Ahdina, our 8-year old daughter, Philomena, 1-year old son, Redford...and Bella, the German Shepherd.