What inspired you to become a photographer?
I started off as a visual artist at West Division High School. While there, I went on to win gold and silver keys in Scholastic’s art and writing awards for my artwork. One of my teachers at West turned me on to photography. That's when I fell in love with this art form. My mom saw this and bought me my first Canon. I was taking pictures of everything and I mean every thing! I learned film photography from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Summer programs for two years, before being hand picked for another program at MIAD, where I was able to have my photos displayed in the Haggerty Museum of Art. During this program I was also able to meet Gordon Parks, before he passed.
After school was over, photography fell by the wayside. It took my ex winning the Milwaukee Magazine Next Top Model contest for me to get back into photography again. At that point, I had never had a digital camera, I took all of her pictures on my iPhone and we submitted them to the contest. It was crazy that all her competitors sent in professional photos, and we sent in iPhone pictures. After we split, I told myself I would turn photography into my next relationship and give it my all. I was new to digital photography. I used YouTube, magazines, and field practice as my teachers. I'm at a point where I can look at picture and pretty much know exactly how they got the image. I'm still learning, I still watch videos, I still read magazines and practice. I don't think I will ever stop.
What's your favorite photo that you've taken?
My favorite photo that I ever took, has to be Robin’s head shot with the glass skin. It took me two years to pull off this look. It was worth it because it won a Phlearn contest.
What's your dream project?
I want to shoot an ad series for a major clothing line where money is no object. They have to believe in my work. No meddling like those Hollywood studios. That is my dream project.
What's your favorite subject to photograph?
I'm in a love hate relationship with beauty shots. I love the results that I get when I shoot them but I don’t always have the best team. Getting the best people together for the shoot is a challenge. When I do, it’s like magic.
What other artists inspire you?
Lance Gross, Orinary, Krish, Dave Hill, Karl Taylor, Brendan Forbes, Jesse J., Lindsay Adler and Aaron Nace are the photographers who have helped shape me since learning digital photography.
What's your favorite photography accessory (other than your camera)?
Photoshop is my favorite accessory in photography. Some people shoot and get it right in the camera. I'm a photographer that shoots for Photoshop. Don't get me wrong, I do all that I can in camera, but I know what I can and can’t do beyond the camera. PS has me thinking I'm god over here with all this control that I have over my images.
What do you consider to be the ingredients for success in photography?
Success in photography is like success in life to me. If you don't give back you're still struggling, you're still trying to make it or you’re not where you want to be. I'm not saying that you have to give people money to be successful. You can give time and you can teach others.