How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?
I was introduced to photography in the form of a Pentax K1000 (which is actually the same camera I've been primarily using as of late) during my middle school years at boarding school in upstate New York. I was actually really awful at making photographs then because I didn't understand how to manually use a camera, but I did get lucky with a few shots. My grandparents were really supportive of my interest in the arts because they're collectors so they're the main reason I stuck with it even though I was really awful at the time. Luckily, through like, ten years of guidance through various sources, I became relatively okay at making photographs.
I think that everyone in this field is at least somewhat influenced by a lot of the work they see from other artists. I know that personally I draw from a lot of different sources in various mediums and through all of that I've sort of ended up where I am with my own style.
How do you choose your subjects?
Honestly, light plays a huge factor. I'm sure that's a pretty obvious answer but things just look a whole lot better with the right lighting. Aside from that, it really depends on what I'm shooting. Most of my black and white work is completely made up of spontaneous shots made at the right moment (with the exception of large format work). I'll do that sometimes with color shots as well but generally I'll like scout things out or spend more time composing the shot. in those cases I'm looking for things aesthetically balanced with color, light, content, etc.
Do you have a creative or artistic peer group in your area that you're a part of? What opportunities are there for artists like yourself in your area?
When you go to SCAD or just live in Savannah in general, almost everyone you know is really creative in some way. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to be a part of the community here because so many people are so motivated and driven in their own work, but also so interested in seeing and supporting the work of others. A lot of my friends right now happen to be graduate students working in various mediums which has been really helpful to me because I've found that they're much more likely to challenge me aesthetically and conceptually which has ultimately helped me grow a lot artistically. Savannah itself is filled with so many opportunities for artists. There are multiple gallery openings and exhibitions weekly, DIY venues for artists and musicians, zines, open critiques, a bunch of SCAD affiliated things. Savannah is seriously full of artistic opportunities if you know how to look for them.
Are there any aspects of the Southern aesthetic that you embrace or ones you consciously avoid?
I'm really in love with the Architecture in Savannah, as well as how creepy everything always looks at night. A lot of times I'll make or see images out of here that look like they could have been shot in the 50's, which I don't think is something that could happen anywhere.
In terms of things I try to avoid, definitely the whole "Outsider" looking in type of thing. I see it happen all the time and I think it's kind of awful. Being affiliated with SCAD makes it really easy to get people to let you make pictures of them and I think in most cases students here do it really respectfully. However, I've seen way too many instances where a photographer will go into a situation in which the subjects need to be not only photographed, but treated with dignity and respect, and the images that come out of it do nothing but highlight the differences between the photographer and people they're photographing in a completely undignified way, whether it's financial, racial, gender based, or whatever. It's something that really bothers me actually.
Tell me about a recent, current, or upcoming project or exhibition.
I'm currently working on a body of work titled, #FLORIDA. As you could probably assume, its about Florida and the way it's perceived vs. it's actuality. I'm aiming to have a show up for that around late February/early March of 2016. I'm hoping to have it be a mixed media show including screen prints, sculptures, and photographs.