I cut my photographic teeth in journalism. Working for daily papers taught me the craft of creating a single image telling a story or giving information. I soon grew tired of only 1,000 words, and desired to write a book. So, I delved into the art of creation multiple pictures can solidarity. These are Essays.
I believe photography is about giving, not taking, despite the phrase, "I took a picture." Yes, photographers take, make, capture and create, but in doing so we must give back, especially journalists. The best ones do this well. Working on stories is my way of giving back by informing, educating and communicating to others the struggles, pains, joys and triumphs of others. These are real people.
SmokeEaters is a personal project I started in late Spring of 2018. Having a significant connection to Palmer Municipal Fire Department, I decided to honor and chronicle the many volunteers making up Station 27. From the oldest participating member, to the only-paid-staff Commissioner, all of the men and women who make up PM27FD are self-sacrificing servants of the community. These are SmokeEaters.
SmokeEaters In addition to the formal portraits, in order to better tell the story of volunteer fire fighting, I worked on a series of black and white images. There are no “fire scene” photos in SmokeEaters. Those photos are displayed for everyone to see in news stories. Rather, the black and white photographs capture the every-day training and life around the fire station; life most people do not see.
The Race of Gentlemen
The Race of Gentelmen. For years I've wanted to attend TROG, in Wildwood, NJ. Being a motorcycle enthusiast, when I first heard about it I was fascinated with the idea of racing on the beach. Years passed and each time busyness got in the way, but I finally carved out time! I didn't expect the media blitz, but years in journalism taught me that different photos could be found "outside the fence" of the main event. Where I went, for the most part, there weren't a lot of photographers. TROG is all about history and racing. They're not looking for attention, they just want to have fun. I have to admit, when I heard their vision and approach, I was honored to be present. And so, this is My TROG. Enjoy!
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic Kidney Disease, also known as PKD, is inherited. It's the fourth leading cause of kidney failure occuring when cysts form causing the organ to lose function. The kidneys can balloon up with cysts causing pain and kidney failure. Sandy Stra was in need of a kidney transplant, his were the size of a football, but could not find a donor. His sister, a perfect match, offered one of hers. The recovery for the donor is more painful than for the recipient given the size of the incision and how the organ is harvested. This is their journey.
Birch Coffee Roast House
Birch Coffee Roast House. Not far from the Queensboro Bridge, in Long Island City, NY, is the HQ for Birch Coffee. Launched less than 10 years ago, Birch Coffee now has 10 shops throughout Manhattan. It was an honor photographing in their roast house.
Burkina Faso, Africa
I’ve done a quite a bit of travel, not for the purpose of gathering images, but for humanitarian efforts. Along the way I photograph to tell the stories of those I’ve met. Africa is an amazing continent - a place I’ve always wanted to experience. I was privileged in having the opportunity to visit the subsaharan country of Burkina Faso. The Burkinabe are amazingly warm and welcoming people. It was a delight to be with them.