1. First off, tell us a little about yourself, who you are, where you’re from and any other fun facts.
I grew up in Miami, actually, in the Aventura area. My Dad was an actor in the late 80s during the Miami Vice era. When I was in middle school, my family moved to Georgia – where I went to college, got my BFA and met my wife, Jamie. After graduating we moved to South Florida. I played professional golf for a few years and worked as a photo-journalist. Then I turned my attention to commercial, fashion and editorial photography. Now Jamie and I are a full-time photography team. I’m back in Miami and love it.
2. You are a photographer based in Miami focusing on commercial and fashion photography. What lead you to pursue your photography career in that direction?
While working in photo-journalism, I learned to shoot in any lighting condition – rain, wind, fire…concerts, mobs, planetariums – you name it, and I’ve shot it. These assignments and tight deadlines taught me the importance of preparation and planning. What got me into commercial and fashion photography was the freedom to be creative. Really, anything the client wants, is possible. When setting up a shoot, I feel like a movie producer selecting the characters, location, props, lighting and feel. The shoot, for the most part, can all be controlled and that for me is the fun part. Don’t get me wrong, some of the best pictures are the happy accidents, but you can set yourself up to capture them with proper lighting with the right preparation.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for your photographs?
My inspiration comes from many sources - from the subjects I photograph, from the clients I work with and from the art and cultures that pervade the city of Miami. Also, I am inspired by the work of other current photographers, and I look to the great photographers of the past to see what has endured for generations.
4. What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
When you can wake up every day and are able do what you love – that is a pretty big accomplishment. I love photography and I am fortunate to do it everyday. Jamie and I purposefully set aside a few beach days on the calendar, otherwise we look back at a month and realize we never stopped.
5. Name your top three role models, the people you admire and look up to career wise.
It is hard to narrow it down to three – I like Helmet Newton’s compositions, Ralph Gibson’s use of shadows and Richard Avadon’s angles. Most importantly, I love their thirst to make images that last. Lately, I have enjoyed Sølve Sundsbø’s beauty images and Yu Tsai’s portraits. Each has a very different look, and all of their works will continue to inspire me and many photographers to come.
6. What’s the best part about being a photographer in Miami?
Miami is constantly changing. We are in a time of boom, and I feel lucky to be part of the city. Shooting wise, Miami offers Location, Location, Location. No seriously, Miami is a great city with beautiful people and beautiful landscapes. Also, the weather is ideal for shooting outdoors year round. We use a number of studios here in Miami that take advantage of the nice weather offering outdoor shooting areas, rooftops and pools.
7. What is a goal you hope to accomplish that you haven’t already?
I would love to do a shoot in London. I spent a summer there while in college and have always wanted to return. I am working with renowned hair stylist, Harold Leighton, who grew up and spent the better part of his career in England. We have been reminiscing about Europe, so I guess I just have London on the brain.
8. Where do you see yourself and your company in five years?
In 5 years, I see us working internationally, while maintaining our home base in Miami. Hopefully, we will continue to work with a variety of clients on a wide range of creative projects.
9. Any words of advice to aspiring photographers?
To aspiring photographers – save images you like. Make an inspirational folder and fill it up. Determine what you like about the images and figure out how to intertwine those ideas into your work. Remember to be true to your own eye. Then, if you’re lucky, some other aspiring photographer will be staring at your picture in a folder.