My adventure began in Curitiba, Brazil where I was born to an American mother and a father who called Australia and New Zealand his "homes." The two sides of my family were on two different continents, and my beginning was on a third. Going to see family meant big trips, with expedition quality logistics for my Mother, three siblings and I to make (and miss) Indiana Jones style plane connections. My Dad, unable to take a lot of time away from work, would join us later and return to Brazil sooner. There might be some exaggeration in all of this, but come on, I was a kid. The point is that I loved it.
I loved running through airports clinging to Mom with a death grip. I loved having people speak languages to me that I didn't understand or whipping out my passport like a 21 year old proudly showing his/her real driver's license to a bouncer. I loved the feeling of getting on a plane and taking off, or waking up and landing. I loved the smell of the air in a new place and the anticipation of what it might bring. I loved everything about the unexpected, and I still do.
My family and I later moved to the small town of Hudson, Quebec near Montreal, where I was immersed in the French language and culture. I spent winters skiing, playing hockey and learning about frostbite while summers were slated for month long boat adventures on the Ottawa, Rideau and St. Lawrence rivers. Looking a whale in the eye from a few feet away while on a trip to Tadusack, Quebec still stands out as one of those amazing, unexpected moments.
We later moved to Cumming, Georgia (my Mom's hometown) where our traveling slowed down a bit as I went to middle school, high school and then on to the University of Georiga. Academics and athletics ruled our lives during this period, but I never forgot our traveling days. I really missed them.
On December 25th, 2002, I held my first real camera, and before finishing that initial roll of film (yes, film), I understood the power of the world I had just entered. My life would never be the same. I held the opportunity and responsibility to actually capture the experiences, the feelings and emotions, the excitement and disappointment that can come and go within the same fleeting moments. The same unexpected and impactful moments that had shaped my life as a child.
I took up the challenge and immersed myself in my photojournalism program. I shot for the school paper and worked on projects far beyond my skill level. It didn't matter. I obsessed over minute details and long shot possibilities for telling a story. A perfectionist, I lost sleep and shot assignments multiple times, always dreading to show my work because it was never up to my standards. My "to be" life's work to convey the essence of a moment had begun.
I have since learned to temper my passion with process, technique and training but the underlying desire and dedication will never change. It was during those same early craft-learning years that I discovered an innate curiosity of various elements of the natural world and the struggle we humans have to interact in harmony with those elements. From the grand moments of connection to humbling periods of defeat, I knew there was more to learn from experiencing the outside world than could ever be told. But I wanted to try.
I now live in Lake Tahoe and use a beefed up 4x4 Sportsmobile converted van / studio to travel and work with around North America. I have dedicated my life to documenting the people, places and activities that embody those elemental relationships I have described. Whether it is sea kayaking in Prince William Sound, Alaska, standup paddleboarding at Great Falls of the Potomac, carving fresh backcountry lines in the West or dropping waterfalls in Mexico, I will be there with a camera in my hands, smile on my face and butterflies in my stomach.
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