So here we are, a website. MY website. Oh crap, does this mean I’m an actual photographer? Maybe, maybe not. I suppose that is up to all of you to decide. The reality though is that I’ve finally decided to listen to my mentors, shake off the imposter syndrome, take the leap, and do more to get my work out there. A website seems so obvious when I say it, but yet it has taken me a while to get here.

Like other photographers I could tell the story of my first camera and catching the photo bug, bla, bla, bla. What really drew me into photography though were the amazing images published in magazines such as Outside, Adventure Journal, Bike, and Powder. Once all the articles were read, I would revisit an issue over and over again drawn to the stories that the photographs themselves were telling. If you asked me who my favorite photographers were and I’d run off a list of shooters behind the lens of those full page gallery shots. As exciting as outdoor photography got me, I didn’t consider it something that I could seriously pursue. As the son of a creative professional I saw first-hand the effort and struggle it takes to make it happen. So as the years past I steered towards other interests to pursue in my formal education and career, with photography remaining an on-again off again hobby.

A few years back I found myself at a cross roads in almost every aspect in my life. While sitting at my old wood office desk in my parents’ basement (the only piece of furniture I still owned), the proverbial lightbulb went off in my head. “$#%& it” I thought, I’m going to photography school! So I (re)packed the truck with a summer’s worth of cloths, gear, and the dog, and headed to Montana. There at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, MT I met and studied with the most talented, enthusiastic, and supportive instructors. By the end of the summer I found my confidence level in my photography skills higher than I ever had before.  However, I still found myself reluctant to say I was a photographer. The thought of jumping in full title still felt out of reach and extremely scary. So I went back to my day job - which for all intensive purposes I actually like.

Two years after I finished that summer program, I attended the school’s 30th anniversary workshop. Like a parent reminding you to do your chores (but with enthusiasm and a smile), the instructors re-emphasized the importance of getting your work out there. It was exactly the kick in the butt I needed. Since that weekend I’ve tried to lean into my photography more, entering photo contests, being intentional about practicing, and working on creating photographs that get me as excited as those I spent hours poring over in the magazines.

Which brings us back to here, my website and my first blog post. More than likely if you are reading this you are a) my dog b) a Russian troll or c) an insomniac searching for the end of the internet. Whichever the case, thanks for stopping by. In future posts I plan on sharing some of my experiences and stories behind the photographs I’ve created and share here.

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