Photographer and filmmaker residing in Southern California with his wife, Amanda, and beloved dog-son, Mr. Charlie Chaplin.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND WHEN YOU ENTERED INTO YOUR CRAFT.
I’ve always had a passion for film (video), ever since I was a kid. I used to take my dad’s camera and go and film random things, I don’t really remember what I was shooting, I just remember walking around with his camera. Throughout high school and even a couple years after I would produce little short films, nothing great — actually, they were pretty awful! One was about a guys first date, and he was so nervous that he had incontrollable gas — and the cherry on top, they were stuck in an elevator! So dumb! But at that time, it was funny to me. Years later, the 7D came out and it had HD video with interchangeable lenses! That was a game changer for me. I was using an SD (standard definition, yes, that was a thing) videocamera. I made the change and started producing better quality material. After a while I thought to myself that I should start taking some pictures, since I had a camera! Slowly I started to shoot more photography, and at that time, I already had an understanding of composition from all my video work. Over time, it has evolved and progressed to what it is today! Photography was something that I never thought I would actually do, but always thought it would be cool. Especially shooting for brands! So I worked hard trying to make that a reality. Next step is to direct either a feature film or something for tv — and thats something I’m working hard to achieve!
WHAT ARE YOUR GO TO ESSENTIALS AND TOOLS?
My bare and bones must haves for any video or photo project is my Samsung NX1, my 16-50mm, maybe my 85mm just in case i need something not as wide — I always have a portable charger with me to help keep all my devices fully charge. If I’m flying I got to have my iPad mini for any movies, writing I need to do, or some reading I’d like to do — which most of the time is comic books! I’m a sucker for a good comic! Throw all that in my waterproof Langly bag and I’m good to go.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO GATHER INSPIRATION FROM?
Music plays a HUGE part in my inspiration. Pending on what I’m listening to, it fuels that “style” I’m into at the time. When I was in Iceland, I ONLY listened to bands like Sigur Ros, Of Monsters and Men, Jonsi, and Rokkurro - all Icelandic bands. When I’m working on a film that is more “cinematic” I’m listening to a lot of film scores. If I’m working on something more with an Indie feel, I’ll listen to things like the Shins, Radical Face, Sufjan, The National, etc. I have playlists to cover all my grounds on Spotify to inspire me in any mood I’m in. This is mainly for film. When it comes to photography I’m inspired by either just being outside and in nature, or just looking at some other peoples photography. There’s inspiration all over, you just have to look!
WHO ARE THREE MENTORS OR CREATIVES THAT HAVE IMPACTED AND INSPIRED YOUR LIFE?
Ron Howard has always been a creative who I look up to, not necessarily for his movies, but for the kind of person he is in the film industry. A family man, who married his high school sweetheart and has raised respectable kids who also work in the industry. It just proves that there are genuinely good people in the industry, not just those looking to take people down in order for them to get a head. That is something I hope to achieve, not just “another” filmmaker, but someone who genuinely cares for others. Michael J. Fox is another, but not because of Back to the Future, but because he’s a man who refuses to give up despite being placed in situations that would be easy for someone to turn back and throw in the towel. You may face difficulties, but what do you do in those moments. Lastly, but most importantly and something that may be a cliche would be Jesus. A man who lived a life for others, a man who lived essentially the most selfless life is inspiring. My wife and I have such a heart for others and hope that with our time on this earth, we can inspire others to live a life to help one another. This is a reason why we founded adventurethatislife.com. Above everything I do or anything I produce, I just want to do some good while I’m here.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR CREATIVITY?
It really all stems from movies. My favorite movie is Back to the Future, and with that movie I fell in love with telling stories. I owe a lot to that movie and it’s because of it that I am a filmmaker today. I was also on only child for 12 years and remember playing with my action figures in my room, but I would play differently then most kids. As I’m older now I understand what I was doing, even though as a child it made no sense really. I would have stories to my “play adventures”, but also I would play my head and treat my eyes as if it were a “camera”. I was playing with angles before I even knew what angles were. I think those alone times played a huge part to what I do today.
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Dare to dream, but make it a reality. We have too many dreamers in this world and not enough people who follow through with it. It’s something I am doing now and have been doing for a long time. But when that first idea comes into mind that “I want to work as a director in that hardest industry to break into”, people laugh, people think it’s cute. When you were 8 years old, what did you dream of doing? Some people say doctor, president, etc… but those things are hard to obtain, and our society wants you to do the safe thing. Go to school, get a job for a company, and work the rest of your life with a good salary. If that’s what you want, thats fantastic. But I’ve always wanted to tell stories through moving images, and I will die making that dream a reality. My advice for anyone young would be to always follow your dreams, but work hard at it. Never give up.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE VALLEYS AND PEAKS IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER?
To not care what others think. Produce content that resonates with you and do the things you love - even if it makes no sense to anyone else. Taking risks bares the best fruit.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
There are just so many quotes, I love quotes! But one that I really enjoy is: "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” - Albert Einstein
STAR WARS OR STAR TREK?
Back to the Future. Haha, just kidding - but not really! I hate Star Trek as a TV series, but I loved the two movies directed by JJ Abrams. Overall though, Star Wars. There’s so much more to the stories and mythology. I hated episodes 1-3, but I think that’s most people. 4-6 was awesome, and 7 (episode 4 part 2) was enjoyable as a movie, but would have loved a different story. Super excited to see what they do with the spin off films and episode 8!