Born and raised in Redding, CA I was always the kid in school that was staring out the windows dreaming of being outside instead of sitting at a desk listening to a teacher ramble on. With an active and creative mind I was always building something and working with my hands. Growing up with bikes and skateboards the daring stunts never seemed to stop. Along with my friends egging each other on there was never a dull moment and plenty of bruises and scrapes to show off.
Without the influence of social media that we have today taking photographs wasn't to impress anyone it was to document a memory. During those days of making ramps and rails I would grab my moms 35mm film camera and capture the moments of my buddies. Learning to photograph with a film camera there was no playback and delete buttons. I had to rely on my eyes, fingers and with good timing in hope that I could capture the shot. That of course always led to someone wanting to show off and do something even more exciting. The best part was taking the film down to get developed and that moment of opening the envelope and pulling out the stack of prints from within. Touching the corners of the paper and the smell of the ink and gazing upon my work. To most people it was just a picture on paper but to me the story that follows the photograph that captured that memory will always be what I treasure most.
As I grew older I was always behind the camera and pressing that shutter button. My sophomore year of high school I started photographing and filming my buddies hucking themselves off of bridges and rope swing and that started to bring back that same rush I experienced when I was younger. As a senior year in high school my urge to photograph more became stronger with a photography class and small school of 40 students all armed with cameras. at my high school was where I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop and that special letter M that is marked on a lot of any top tier camera.
When my dad bought his first digital camera an Olympus C-740uz 3.2 MP I was instantly hooked. I took it out and sat down in my mom’s flowerbed and read the manual on how to use it and what each button did. That’s where I learned how to shoot in manual mode and be in total control of the camera.
Some of my first photo shoots were of a couple of girlfriends I had during my senior year of high school. I even did my cousins senior portraits and continued photographing friends and family that were brave enough to pose for me. As I made my way south and moved to Sacramento I took several photography classes specializing in digital photography and film. I even looked into attending Brooks Institute of Photography but nearly passed out when I saw the cost to attend with housing it was in the 80K range.