Born and raised in Houston, TX, educated and enlightened in Austin, TX, and now chasing dreams in Oklahoma City. I am an artist by nature. I graduated with a degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
Before falling in love with photography, I was a traditional pen and paper-type artist. Portraits and superheroes was my thing. The idea of being a “photographer” didn’t come to me until I was 17 when my mom bought me my first entry-level DSLR. From there, I followed my friend around as he was also beginning photography, and we shot tons of different subject matter around Houston.
In college, my photography took a leap forward when I was asked to help to start a student-run fashion publication. Spark Magazine was born in April 2009, but it wasn’t until a few months later, that our style really became clean. Photographing the editorials really allowed me to explore different lighting techniques and test my skill.
Fast forward to today, and here I am in OKC, doing me.
1. How did you come to Oklahoma City? And more importantly, why do you stay?
I met this girl. The plan was to get her to move to me, but when I visited OKC, I saw the potential. I guess the feng shui of the city felt right. There is an opportunity here for me to be great. I stay because I want to be a part of a city that can only go up.
2. Who was your greatest mentor?
My greatest mentor would have to be award-winning sports photographer, Elizabeth Kreutz. She made me realize I can turn my passion for photography into a profession. She told me it’d be tough, but it’d be worth it. She taught me what personal relationships meant, and that even if you’re the greatest photographer on earth, if you’re a dick, it wouldn’t matter.
3. Which project are you most proud of? Please explain why?
The project I am most proud of, though others may not agree, is my “The Cinnamon Challenge Project” series. It started as me just photographing my friends and I attempting the Cinnamon Challenge. I currently have 28 photos in the series and am hoping to add more as volunteers appear.
The Cinnamon Challenge took the internet by storm last year. The object of the challenge is to swallow a spoonful of Cinnamon within a minute. Many have tried, few have succeeded.
4. What is one thing other creatives can learn from your biggest success and/or failure?
My biggest failure in college was not finding an internship at an Advertising Agency. This is a failure to the AdMan side of me, not the photographer. Ad agencies won’t look at you without prior agency experience, and will only give you an internship if you’re still a student. But fear not! Because of this, I was able to put my strengths into my photography. Can’t join them? Be your own boss, and show them what you can do as a partner, not an employee.
5. If you could play a game with any creative in the community, what would it be and whom would you play against?
I’d love to play a game of Draw Something with Blake Behrens of RadFive Creative.
6. What is one thing you would change about your job or profession?
I would change the way clients view our role. They think it’s our job to give them exactly what they want rather than giving us artistic freedom to work together and deliver something greater than they expected.
7. What is your best source of inspiration?
The internet is the best source of inspiration, but also the best way to put you down. Tumblr, Flickr, Behance and other creative blogs like the OKCegotist are my usual spots.
People watching is also a good source of inspiration for me. People do the darndest things when they don’t know someone is watching.