I tell my own personal story often of how photography became a part of who I am as an artist, how it helped me discover who I really was. My imagery and the photos I was creating helped build up my confidence one shutter click at a time, during a time that I needed it most. Growing up extremely extroverted I was trying to mask my insecurities with a loud personality. In the end it hurt me more than helping me and during a very low period of time in my life I was forced to confront who I actually was. That was as a gay man. I can’t exactly pinpoint the precise moment I knew, and I can’t exactly explain how taking a picture pushed me to “come out of the closet” other than I was proud of the work I was creating and began to realize I was proud of the person I was.
Since beginning this journey into photography I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of people in a number of different capacities through a number of different opportunities, each of which have shaped my photography into what it is today, right now, in this very moment. One opportunity has notably inspired me more than all the others - the Sundance Film Festival. Each year has left a different mark on my heart. At the 2016 festival I photographed and then attended the premiere of a film called Newtown, a documentary diving into the heartache surrounding family members who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre. Afterwards, I had a run in with Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, a 6 year old victim in Sandy Hook. Her poise, gentle demeanor, and passionate voice still sits with me through to this day. At the 2017 Festival, barely two months after the 2016 Presidential Election, the energy was different than the year prior. Nearly all conversation centered around the state of American politics and how we can overcome and resist the travesty that would ensue. The conversation always ended with a message of hope, however. The message? That as filmmakers, as artists and story tellers, our job is to tell the truth and the truth always prevails.
Fast forward to 2018 and I am currently working for a company who prides itself on environmental consciousness and diligently making sure that we Keep The North Cold. The North specifically being Minnesota, but the message itself addressing the global climate crisis we are currently facing. The companies mission is simple, to measure the social cost of the carbon the company is outputting, translate that into a dollar amount, and donating 110% of that dollar amount to cutting edge climate change initiatives and organizations on the forefront of global warming. A mission I wholeheartedly support as I want my children to be able to experience mother nature in all its glory, with all four of its seasons.
All of these jobs, opportunities, and experiences have lead me to meeting some of the most interesting and passionately dedicated individuals. Its led me to wanting more out of my art, for my own photographs to have more meaning and purpose behind them. Moving forward I want to put individuals who are making, creating, and leading out in the world in front of my camera, and I want to help them tell their stories and their own truths.
Can you help me?