Dallas photographer capturing the world with a visually striking, minimalistic eye that is undeniably beautiful and remarkably thought provoking.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND THE WORK THAT YOU CREATE.
Well, I’m a brown haired, brown eyed, part german, part cherokee, aspiring editorial photographer and photojournalist - if I can claim that. There is something really important to me about both sides. On one side, I love the conceptual control you have over editorial work. If done right, it can yield some really cool results. But on the other end, seeing and capturing humanity in its raw form is vital to me as a photographer and a person. I love conceptualizing things, watching them unfold and seeing how similar, but different, they are from the original idea. Especially when you’re working with a larger team where everyone can have a hand in collaborating. I’ve found that the end result is always significantly better when working with others that are doing what they’re good at. I am also big into minimalism. It is in every area of life, actually. I think in a world where everything is always requiring more from you, it is the simple things that make an impact. And ultimately, that’s what I am trying to do. Make an impact.
WHO HAVE YOU WORKED WITH AND WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ASSIGNMENT?
Easily my favorite work has been with MusicBed. (So far) we have, within the past year and a half, released 3 volumes of film + music and a biannual magazine. The whole process has been amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to be brought on as the head photographer for every issue, and it has been such an amazing experience. Every project is like that, honestly. It is amazing what you learn when thrown into a setting where you really don’t know what you’re doing. Honestly, I hope i never fully know what I’m doing. it makes the unknown exciting.
RECOUNT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ARTIST.
I kind of don’t know where to start with this one. We’re always artists, right? We start making art because we first appreciate it. Even if we don’t know it. Sure, there’s a moment where every artist realizes that’s what they want to pursue for the rest of their lives. But being an artist is more than just that moment. But as for that moment, it was in my high school art class, (that i may or may not have taken because it seemed like an easy credit) when my teacher (shouts out to Mrs. Smith) told me I should start working in Adobe Illustrator and see what happens. I’m pretty sure I made the worst shirt ever made that day, and got honorable mention in a local art competition. But I loved it. I loved creating something out of nothing, and the frustrating process of having no idea what comes next. At that point, I realized the impact that art had on me, and the potential that it could have on others. That’s what art is about, right? Others.
HOW DID YOUR CHILDHOOD SHAPE YOU INTO THE MAN AND ARTIST YOU ARE TODAY?
I grew up in, probably, the most creative environment out there. My dad is a sound engineer who has ‘fly like an eagle’ by Steve Miller and ‘barracuda’ by Heart under his belt. And my mom is an amazing singer who has such a heart for the arts. As for the man I am, I completely contribute that to being raised in a Christian household surrounded by people that loved me and always wanted the best for me. Sure, there have been hardships and hard choices that I’ve had to make which help to mold me, but it all goes back to my faith.
HOW HAS YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SUPPORTED YOU THROUGHOUT IT ALL?
I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to anyone close to me about something I’ve been wanting to do and gotten a negative response. I’ve been extremely blessed to be constantly surrounded by the best people, from insanely supportive parents who are artists in their own right, to the healthiest community of friends I have ever seen. I’ve never been left wanting for support, and I actually think I just realized how special that is. So thank you.
LOOKING BACK ON ALL THAT HAS UNFOLDED, WHAT NUGGETS OF WISDOM HAVE YOU LEARNED AND EMBRACED?
Everything boils down to taste. If you can constantly develop that, you can constantly be better than you were before. More on that later.
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
To take it easy! Someone said to me once, ‘don’t sweat the petty stuff. And don’t pet the sweaty stuff.’ Kind of love that.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS ALLOWED YOU TO BREAK THROUGH AND SUCCEED, PARTICULARLY AMONGST YOUR PEERS?
To be completely honest, I feel like I’m still working on discovering that. Ideally, it’ll be my taste that stands out. But I absolutely don’t feel as though I am there yet. And I may never fully feel that way.
YOU'VE TAKEN A LOT OF RISKS ALONG THE WAY, BUT WHAT WAS YOUR DEFINING ONE WHERE EVERYTHING WAS ON THE LINE?
I’m actually in the middle of that right now. About 2 months ago, I decided it was time to go completely freelance. To seriously devote my time to bettering myself and my craft, and doing projects that I love and with people that I love. So far, I’m not homeless, so I guess it’s working.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD GIVE A YOUNG PERSON FOLLOWING THEIR PASSION AS AN ARTIST?
DON’T STOP. It is easy to get insanely discouraged when the things you are making aren’t living up to the expectations of your taste. The thing is, we all go through it. We all deal with that feeling of inadequacy, especially in the beginning. And the only way to get through it, or to “close the gap” as Ira Glass says, is to keep creating. Keep delivering. Keep making stories, and making art. Then one day, you’ll look back and see the growth and the closing of that gap. Honestly, though, it never really gets better. and I hope it never does.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CREATIVITY, WHAT DO YOU FIND YOURSELF CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR?
Others. Others have to be the reason I create. For sure, there is this innate desire to create for fulfillment. But the primary reason is others. To impact them, to move them. to tell someone’s story. What else is the purpose of art if not to make people stop and think?
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP YOU CREATIVELY INSPIRED AND CONSISTENTLY INNOVATING?
Learning from and consuming the things that are around me.
LOOKING AT OUR WORLD, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN IMPACT AND CHANGE ABOUT IT?
Crap, what a question.
WE ALL DREAM OF LEAVING A LEGACY. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR, AND WHY?
Simply put, the love I have for other people. As people are the only things that truly matter.
ANY CURRENT ALBUMS, ARTISTS OR SONGS ON REPEAT?
Telluric by Matt Corby is completely wrecking my life right now.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOVIE OR TV SHOW?
Easy. House of Cards.
Tough! I’m a very story driven person, so I’m always super devoted to whatever book I’m reading at the moment. Fiction: The ASOIAF series by George R.R. Martin. Nonfiction: Scary Close by Donald Miller.
Is all food a cop out answer? If it is, I’d say Japanese. Or like... Tacos.
STAR WARS OR STAR TREK?
Is this even a question? Star Wars.
WHAT IMPORTANT TRUTH DO VERY FEW PEOPLE AGREE WITH YOU ON?
That you should be proud of what you make. I’ve talked to so many creatives who have told me that ‘true artists’ hate the work that they make, which to me is so backwards. Why would I ever create something to not be proud of it? I mean, sure, I can look back at the work I’ve done and see things that need to be better. But that’s growth. The projects that I know I tried my absolute best on are the ones I will always be proud of.