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How did you become a photographer?
By accident, even though I had always wanted to be one. I have worked as an advertising graphic designer for the last 15 years. About three years ago, I had a client who needed photos for his jewelry catalog and I did the photography along with the design. I found out I liked taking pictures better than designing.
Where are you from originally?
Born raised and still living in San Diego, CA.
Who were your main influences growing up?
My mom and dad. Both are artists.
Did you go to art school/college for photography or are you self-taught?
I am self-taught. When I started shooting I thought my images looked like crap and it drove me crazy. I became obsessed with lighting. It was all I thought about. I was obsessed with learning the technical aspects of lighting and I continuously experimented with marathon photo-shoots. Also, since I have been using Photoshop for design work since the program’s first edition, I was already fairly skilled at retouching and digital imaging.
Any advice or tips to novice photographers?
Learn how to run a business before photography. It’s obviously competitive and there are more people with cameras than there are jobs.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging project you have worked on?
The most rewarding was my earliest work. Everything was so new. I’m a pretty low-key kind of guy and I’m not much of a talker. My photos gave me a way to communicate with people in a way that I never experienced with words.
What is your favorite portfolio piece? Why?
That’s really hard for me to answer. I end up hating all of my photos shortly after I shoot them. I always feel I can do better. But, if I had to choose, it would be from my ‘Opium Den’ series. Everything just came together in that shoot. I had a good team of people that I worked with. It was my first experience in that type of working environment.