Some years ago, when I was a 13 year-old attending an low-income urban middle school in Los Angeles, a high-fashion fragrance company visited my school and handed out disposable cameras as part of a contest. The themes were “American life” and “American families”. This urban school would get some much needed money and winning students would get some money for college. I was ecstatic. Here it was–their chance to discover the next Vanity Fair or Vogue photographer in me. I shot all 24 frames in one day–it was pure joy. I turned it in the very next day—they should have just cut me a check then, or so I hoped.?
“Rather than being discouraged, a small spark was ignited.”
I am not sure if the poorly executed cliché images of an American flag, a very distant blurry bird, my dinner that night in all its half-eaten glory, several shaky shots of water puddles, the ground in front of me, and my old pair of beat up basketball shoes even got a second look. When the winners were announced, I was disappointed that they missed their chance to discover me. However, rather than being discouraged, a small spark was ignited. ?
Five years later, my dad gave me his old Canon A-1 film camera with a standard 50mm lens and took a few college photography classes. I consumed everything I could about using the camera and developing film. I’ve been on a continuous journey ever since.
Over the years, I have formally learned or self-trained the technical aspects of photography from shooting, framing, complex lighting, posing to post processing and just as importantly managing a production. But it was not until the concerns of the technical process of photography were replaced by the joy of the art itself, that I have been able recreate the same youthful glee of the young 13 year old me. That small spark has become a burning passion.?
I have shot large and small projects, from commercial products to portraits and editorials but above all, my favorite is to tell a story. So, send me an email, say “Hello”. ?