Interview in Southern Glossary

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Interviewed by Southern Glossary

How did your interest in photography begin and how did you arrive at your current style?

My interest in photography began in the living room of my grandparents' house when I was a kid. They traveled a good bit before my grandfather passed, and my grandmother lugged cameras along everywhere. Of course, we’d be excited to see them when they’d get back from Europe or Africa or wherever, but I remember being spellbound watching the slideshows of my grandmother's photos. She shot exclusively on Kodachrome. Boxes of her slides sit in the other room of the house I’m living at the moment; revisiting them and getting them digitally scanned is a project I have for later this summer. Anyway, they took me on a trip to Alaska the summer before 8th grade. My grandmother gave me a Nikon film camera and three lenses to use on that trip. I still shoot with those lenses today.

As for style, I’ve always loved rich color. Kodachrome does that that to you, right? I also admired how she framed shots and, given the limited frames available on a roll of film, what she elected to use exposures on and what she didn’t. Being alongside in Alaska and watching her work was influential, but so were her other interests. She was also a gardener. Our church altar was frequently adorned with roses she grew. Whether animals from safari or flowers from home or visits to other gardens, my grandmother seemed to center her photography on beautiful subjects. She’d light up when talking about something beautiful she saw. Whether shooting landscapes or models, I suppose I’m trying to do the same thing: find beautiful things as they are and capture some element of them. I think I’ve learned to feel the joy she felt. 

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