Through the lens of the camera, an eye for composition and light, and passion for exploration, I capture the world around us, creating inspiring photos that tell a story of a place and moment in time, evoke an emotion from our own past, awaken a desire to go on an adventure, experience a place one might not otherwise get to, or call on us to respect and conserve our natural treasures and historical landmarks.
I was a country boy growing up in middle America. Being on a family dairy and hog farm, we didn’t get any days off during the year – no weekends, holidays, etc – but my dad made it a priority to hire his brother & cousin to tend to the farm for a few weeks each summer so we could get away and experience someplace different. Every summer was a cross-country road trip to a different region of the continent (and two summers on a cross-Europe road trip). We usually traveled the lesser touristy paths – my dad wasn’t a fan of big cities or tourist traps. At every scenic wonder we’d stop at, I remember always being drawn to and pausing at the racks of postcards, posters and calendars to admire the beautiful local photography. I always wondered who had that job – it had to be the best job on earth to just get to travel all around and make those pretty pictures!
In the summer of 1998, when I was 16, we took an epic month long road trip from our farm in Minnesota to the end of the road in Alaska. My mom, for the first time, let me finally have control over her precious and expensive camera. Granted, I only used Auto mode, but after the trip and the packs of 4×6 prints came back, for the first time ever I think our family and friends actually took interest and enjoyed looking at the family vacation photos. I was so proud of my work I put together a whole scrapbook of the trip to take to school and show off. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, but as soon as my classmates starting finding out about the adventures around the continent I had taken, I felt like I had an interesting story to tell my peers and felt genuinely admired for something. Realizing some potential, I was given my dad’s old manual film camera, and I learned to use it by just playing with the dials until the light meter needle was in or close to the middle as I could.
I continued taking point-and-shoot photos on early digital cameras as I went to college and began my career in information and computer science. Even though people always complimented me on the photos I took, I just kind of brushed it off as “oh that’s nice, thank you.” Most of my mind was focused on school and career in the growing and practical field that would safely pay the bills. The continuing mindset of my moderately conservative parents. After over 10 years in database development, I was left yearning for more of a fulfilling challenge. In 2016, I decided to take a break from the corporate data science world, and learn everything I could about photography. I could focus my energy on a combination of passions I had mostly suppressed – art, creativity, travel, exploration, nature, the visual beauty of the world around us and learning something new on my own – photography. I self taught myself the principles of photography – manual exposure, composition, and techniques of the inventors and masters of the art, plus learned the newest techniques for digital photography and processing in Lightroom and Photoshop, most notably luminosity masking and digital blending.
Right now, I am focused on landscape and cityscapes, mostly in and around my home in Minnesota. My short-term goals include incorporating long exposure and time-lapse video in order to see the world in an alternate fourth dimension. I also want to visit every one of Minnesota’s state parks (#everyparkmn), with a lifetime goal of visiting all our National Parks (#everyparknps). In addition to inspiring people to get out and explore, I also want to use my work to help draw attention to natural conservation and preservation efforts.
I would love to be able to sustain myself doing just this, but either way, I will never stop growing in this passion for visual arts. It’s a lot of hard work, with many ups and downs, but I gratefully learned the life of hard work and persistence from my family on the farm. If you would like the support me, the best thing you can do is buy one of my prints or hire me for a project needing photographic services. As much as I love having a thousand likes on Instagram, I love just having one of my prints hanging on a wall somewhere, knowing someone cared that much about that photo, and will continue to see it day after day after day, rather than just a for a second on their phone.
- Official Photographer 2017-2018 Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassadors Organization
- Celebrity Event Photographer, Dine Out For Life & The Aliveness Project, 2017 & 2018
- MN State Fair Fine Arts, 2018 Jury Select Exhibitor, “Badlands Hillside”
- TPT CaptureMinnesota Editors Choice, “Full Rainbow”
- Grand Champion Winner, 2017 Minnesota Festag Day, “Rails Through Easton”
- Division Champion Winner, 2016 Minnesota Festag Day, “Back Alley Reflections”
- Division Champion Winner, 2014 Minnesota Festag Day, “Forgotten, But Not Gone”
- Award of Merit, 2012 Minnesota Festag Day, “Winter Barn”
- Minnesota Monthly, 2016 Fall Travel Guide, October 2016, “A Tree’s Point of View”
- “Minnesota In Seasons – A Photographic Journey Through Minnesota”, “Full Rainbow”
And as seen on KARE 11 News, Twin Cities Public TV, Meet Minneapolis, Explore Minnesota, and more!
If you care to know, some of my other passions in life are baking, architecture, Legos, EDM, theater, and cocktails. I also can’t forget my very supportive and forgiving husband, who I couldn’t have done this adventure so far without.