I bagan my journey in photography in 1990 when I attended Shepherd College (now University) to study photography. My first year of college was at Flagler in St. Augustine, FL. I was studdying commercial art when I befriended a local photographer Chris Hall. I was immediately hooked to the medium. I knew it was what I wanted as an art medium because of my wanderlust. As much as I loved graphic design and fine art I couldn't see myself sitting behind a desk or at an easel for long periods of time. So I transfered to Shepherd where I began studying photography under Rick Bruner.
Unfortunatley, I did not complete my degree at that time. Rick was a great teacher, but certain events led me to leave school and join the Air Force. However, because of the skills I had gained from Rick I was able to get a photography position right out of basic training. My first station was was Whiteman Air Force Base, then Kunsan Korea, and finally Langley AFB in Virginia. I learned a lot from on-the-job-experience those four years with the added benefit of getting paid for it. And getting to travel at the Air Force's expense was a fantastic bonus. But I still was not the photographer I had hoped to be.
I left the Air Force and got into other trades, but still kept shooting whenever I had the time and could afford it. This was back in the days when film was still the norm. Digital phtoography was in it's infant stage, and I even got my feet wet in the world of digital when I was in the AF. But I didn't take to it till years later after I joined and then left the Coast Guard.
In 2003 I bought my first digital camera, and what a blessing in disguise that was. That was when I began developing my skills and ability to see more rapidly. I was no longer worried about the cost of film and processing. I could shoot hundreds of photos at a time and quickly evaluate in Photoshop my skills and ability to see the world. As much as I wanted to stubbornly remain a purist with film, digital was way too much fun. I liked the darkroom, but I liked shooting even more.
I struggled for a time after I left the Coast Guard to get my own business going. My biggest problem was that I really didn't know what direction to take. I had a family, so my goal was to find any way to make a buck. That is a hard way to live as an artist. I enlisted in the National Guard and worked as a Public Affairs (PA) photographer at Joint Forces HQ in Sacramento while also working part-time in a portrait studio. I was deployed in 2005 to 2006, and upon my return eventually got a part-time postion at the Folsom Telegraph while also working freelance for other local publications. It was all a tough go, but working out for me--until the economy collapsed. All at once everyone stopped calling, and I was laid off from the paper.
Relief came when in 2009 I acquired a term position as a photographer with the Army Multi Media Visual Information Center at Ft. Stewart in Hinesville, GA. It was essentially the same thing I did when enlisted in the Air Force and with the NationalGuard. Because my family had remained in Sacramento while I took this job I had freedom in the evenings and on t he weekends to explore Georgia with my camera. It was during this time I developed my skills as a landscape photographer. I began working on the concept of the panoramic format and quickly developed my technique and style. Once I returned to California I continued my pursuit of panoramic landscape photography.
In 2010, I landed a permanent postion as a PA photographer at Beale AFB in Marysville, CA. I do studio work and document ceremonies and events. Though it is not what I had dreamed of doing when I first got into photography (that is the pipe dream of working for National Geographic) it allows me the resources to continue pursuing the art and craft of photography.
As a side note, I did finally complete my degree in Fine Art through Thomas Edison State College (now University). Even after I left Shepherd College, I continued to work on my formal education and took several fine art, graphic design, and photography classes at different colleges mostly in the Sacramento area. Thomas Edison evaluated all my work and studies and granted my degree in 2003.