Some of the people in my life and in the world who have shaped and inspired me.
Mom & Dad
I wouldn't be who I am today without them. I had the privilege of growing up hunting, fishing, camping, biking, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, and participating in sports. I was also fortunate to be somewhat of a free-range kid which enabled me to explore my surroundings including the St. Croix River Valley and Lake Elmo Park Reserve, occasionally getting a bit too adventurous which drove my parents mad. Annual fishing & camping trips to northern Minnesota and a trip to Colorado had me totally hooked on nature and exploration. Thank you Mom and Dad for showing me the way, making so many things possible, always supporting me, and for not killing me when I so often gave you the right.
I grew up in Minnesota snapping photos with disposable cameras. After moving West to Colorado and exploring the Rocky Mountains I wanted to be able to capture images that could do some justice to the scenes I was beholding which is when my real interest in photography began. Not long after I wound up in one of Tom's galleries located in DIA. I recognized Catch of the Day in the window and I knew I had to have a look. His work blew me away and I almost missed my flight. I had to look him up to see what he was all about and became truly inspired after seeing how he applies his work as a photographer to numerous conservation efforts. I learned that photography could be so much more than capturing moments, or taking appealing photos, or possibly even making a buck. Fast forward about 10 years, I began working at Tom's Jackson Hole gallery. Upon meeting him I was relieved to learn that he was not a jerk or total weirdo as some other photographers I'd previously admired turned out to be. Since then I've enjoyed many of my favorite experiences in the field shooting with Tom, as well as a few glasses of wine once the light is gone. I feel honored and fortunate to have Tom as not only a boss, but a cherished friend.
After becoming inspired by Tom's work as a conservation photographer I began studying others in the field. Ansel's countless iconic images, contributions to the world of nature photography, and environmental efforts made him a mandatory study. His exacting precision and attention to detail spurred his creation of the zone system and the elite photography group f/64. His work with The US Department of the Interior and The Sierra Club are responsible for many of the protected and preserved wild places we still enjoy today.
One can't study Ansel Adams without Looking further back and learning all about the legendary naturalist whose pure love of nature changed the world. The Father of the National Parks. Reading about his reflections on nature, his way of seeing the world, and his way of sharing his experiences with others is truly inspirational. He opened the eyes of America to the importance of the preservation of wilderness and the role nature plays in the human experience.