OHIO UNIVERSITY [Bachelors of Science in Visual Communications]
BIRTHPLACE: Akron, OH
Q: Why is creating imagery important to you?
A: Creating has evolved for me so much over the past 6 years. In the beginning, I enjoyed creating imagery because it was a release. A way for me to get away from the daily dramas of high school and the constant onslaught of homework and testing. In college creating became more about personal development and challenging myself to better understand the functions of a camera, lighting, and digital workflow. And now, as a young professional creating imagery has evolved from personal projects to working collaboratively in an environment with motivated, talented individuals who all have a common goal of making the most impactful and beautiful images that we possibly can. I’ve met so many other talented creatives this year, the inspiration it’s given me and the relationships I have developed have been a huge part of what continues to drive me.
Q: What inspired you to start photographing?
A: My grandfather is one of my largest inspirations when it comes to photography. He died when I was an infant so I don’t really remember him, but he’s had a profound impact on my life. He was a teacher, photographer, musician, and an inspiration to everyone that met him. I feel lucky to have been able to meet him even though I was never able to have a conversation with him. I’ve acquired a lot of his old photography equipment over the past years and while they may not be the most valuable pieces of equipment they are my favorite and most prized pieces of equipment.
Q: What are your favorite things to photograph?
A: People, FOR SURE. There’s something special about connecting with a person through a viewfinder. The best feeling is when both of your talents just mesh at the same time and you snap a shot and immediately know, “Yeah, that’s the one.” I do enjoy still life and landscape photography as well, but I’m a people person, so photographing people just comes most naturally to me.
Q: What inspires your work the most?
A: Honestly, having time to myself and getting away from the struggles of daily life helps to clear my mind and get the creative process started. I have a few different places I like to go to hike and just get away from things for a little bit and after a solid hike I always feel rejuvenated and ready to create!
Q: Have you ever explored any other art forms?
A: I used to enjoy drawing really lame cartoons when I was young and I took a drawing class in college, but honestly one of the reasons I took photography in high school was because I sucked at every other art form. At least I thought I did haha.
Q: Do you have a favorite project you have completed?
A: I have a few different ones that are personal favorites, I’m including them in this feature for readers to check out. It’s really hard for me to pick one favorite though because each shoot I do can be so different depending on the people I’m working with. I think it would be easier to pick a least favorite, but I don’t want to get too into that.
Q: How do you want people to interpret your work?
A: I really don’t often have hidden or deeper meanings in my work unless I’m working specifically on a conceptual project. I think one of the coolest things about art and photography is that the meaning of a piece is derived from the viewer. I wouldn’t want to tell someone what they should be interpreting because I think that takes a lot of the fun out of looking at and understanding art.
Q: What are some of your future goals and aspirations?
A: So one of my goals was to be featured in a publication this year (check that one off) and to have my own studio to work in. In the next year or so I plan on relocating to LA and working in a high budget studio on commercial and fashion projects.
Q: In what ways has photography impacted your life?
A: Well since I started 6 years ago, photography has pretty much consumed my life. I’m lucky to have found something I’m passionate about and able to it pursue as a career. A lot of people struggle with finding what that is for themselves, so I just feel grateful I was able to find my passion at such a young age.
Q: Do you have any favorite photographers?
A: Annie Leibovitz, Adam Elmakias, Dave Hill, Lindsay Adler, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Ansel Adams (I could go on). All of them are favorites for different reasons, but each has taught me something important about photography since I began to familiarize myself their work.
Q: What is your signature? (lighting, color, composition)
A: I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about this before. If I had to pick I would say lighting. Many photographers use just natural light when they photograph, which is totally fine, I even do it sometimes. But ever since I learned how to use strobes and how to control lighting I’ve noticed a huge difference in my work and I never looked back.