I am a storyteller and an image maker. It began with fireside stories with my Grandpa on horse packing trips when I was a young boy. We would create tales of wild beasts and far off places that I would travel to in my future. It was those colorful visions that pushed me to begin creating images. My first, with my Kodak Instamatic (with a cube flash!), when I was 8 years old. I remember snapping away in the pits at the Fremont drag races. As a teen, I was shooting slow shutter shots of my brother jumping off of the roof with his guitar or into the pool in the backyard. I admired the blurry trails developing the photos in the darkroom. Magically it was appearing before my eyes. I never realized using my Mom’s old heavy Minolta SRT101 that this passion would continue and ultimately become my career.
My passion further developed while studying in Mexico where I fell in love with the lively and colorful markets. I wandered, searching out the colors, textures and flavors that slammed my senses. I found myself composing, using light to shape a story behind each image. The piles of spices called to me; reds, yellows and bright greens sitting in massive sifted cones. The aroma was overwhelming. I recall a night in Oaxaca, wandering around the Zocalo, ducking in and out of the food stands while an Easter time parade was making its way through the street. I mixed myself in with the locals and began capturing the mood. A unique mixture of a variety of light sources casting colors and shadows. It pushed me to search out images, find faces in the light, following the mass of costumes and religious symbols. It drew me in! I look back at those images today and the memories and emotions of the events resurface as if it were yesterday.
I found my way deeper into lighting and composition through a graphic design class in college. I was pushed further into a more complex world of photography. After stuffing film holders and lugging gear as an assistant shooting for Hi-tech companies in the Bay Area, I returned to the soil, surrounded by apple trees and redwoods in the North Bay where I grew up. It has always been home. I find it centers me and allows me to restart the creative process. Nothing like a little gardening to settle the mind and get the juices flowing. The desire to return to this fertile land sparked my passion for all things food and wine. My fascination with ingredients is more powerful now. The textures, colors and patterns all affecting me much like the markets in Mexico did years earlier. Whether it is cooking a home grown dish, preparing the soil in the garden or tilling in the vineyard, it all brings me to the center of why I create images.
I like to look at how the light shapes a subject. How it bounces off the crystals of salt in a dish, the glow of color passing through wine and onto the table top as the sun wraps around the edge of the glass. It conveys a feeling that generates an emotion. That emotion brings the viewer into the story I am trying to tell. Hopefully the images stir memories and create a moment. Whether in a motion piece or a still shot, the invitation to see, taste or hear the story is the goal. If you look at the giant black truffle and want to rush out and get one to shave on your steaming pasta, then I have started the process for you. If watching a clip of a chef spooning brown butter on a searing pan of halibut motivates you to pull out the cast iron and start the burner, then it is working. Feel the calm in a winter morning vineyard image covered in frost. You are there. I tell stories for your eyes and ears, but these stories dig into your soul. Let me tell your story.