I have no idea of the significance of this, but clearly visible out my office window is the hospital in which I was born.
With a degree in communications from Washington and Lee University and with photography as a hobby, I returned to my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Instead of working for a newspaper, for which I was well trained, I chose to work instead in a custom color photo lab as a darkroom technician. I fought for a job there because it was such an interesting place. It opened a very special door for me. For over four years, I worked with and for all kinds of photographers, amateur and pro, and used my access to the facilities after hours to print my own work. I started a weekend business in 1980 (and left the lab in 1981) to put my quickly evolving photographic eye to work as a freelance photographer.
I immediately pushed my photographic career in two directions: shooting for magazines and commercial clients. I have thoroughly enjoyed providing photography services to advertising firms, graphic designers, colleges and a wide variety of businesses and corporations. On the parallel path, my journalism background quickly took me into magazine work, which evolved into non-fiction books for young readers and then coffee table photo books.
Photography has taken me literally around the world. How could I not give back to it? One way was by teaching photography at Centenary College for 23 years until 2003. Never having taken a photography class, teaching students for decades made me a better photographer.
My work is very much about interpreting an intoxicatingly visual world into this wonderfully versatile medium. I relish the challenge of translating the three dimensions of a subject into the two dimensions of a photograph. Like architecture. Or a dancer. Or a studio still life. Or a drilling rig. Or a portrait. Or a cityscape. Or a detail in nature.
Okay, call me a generalist. But I am proud to say that my profession allows me to blend my personals passions with my business passions. My love of live theater influences my work with people both in my studio and on location. My love of sculpture influences my product and still life photography. My love of movies influences how I explore, compose and light an image. My dedication to my community and my fascination with the world as a whole influences my choices of subjects to photograph. My publishing career keeps me going back to New York City, where I regularly overdose on the arts.
In 1999, I bought a run-down old grocery store building, built in 1913, and renovated it into a spacious studio with offices upstairs. Since 2001, when I moved in, it has become imbued with a positive spirit that inspires those who work here—myself, my staff, clients and tenants. River City Rep Theater has used the studio for its rehearsal space for many years and brings a dramatic and welcome energy into the building.
My life is all about color and light and exploration and art and travel and love and music and drama and stories. What are the connecting threads that run through all this and hold it all together? Photography, of course, curiosity, a strong belief that life is a gift, and a deep faith in a loving God.
My amazing wife, Cindy, and I are the proud parents of three amazing children, Sara, Bradford, and Hannah.