Mission-statement me:

Brooklyn born & raised, but Southern ‘learn’t.’ I’m a photographer focusing on things I’m passionate about: architecture, people & the world around me.

Short-version me:

I am a husband, step-father, brother, son, Krav maga practitioner, funk listener, U.S. history buff, road-trip traveler, apple gadget owner, dog owner, paleo-eater, afternoon nap taker, barista & co-shop owner with my wife [wild.root  is our shop. We sell plants, sundries and run an espresso bar]…  and of course, I’m an architectural and wedding photographer.

Q&A-me:

q. when you photograph weddings, are you the general-take-control type or more the easy-going type?

a.Oh, definitely, the easy going type. My goal during weddings is simply to stay out of the way! lol It’s hard to capture a true emotion if you’re always dictating how people should be. So, my style can be described as ‘photojournalist’, with a Zen mentality: Prepare as best you can but then once the day starts, just go with the flow.

q.what’s the most important thing about photographing weddings?

a. There can be several things that are important when photographing a wedding, from scouting the location before hand, to communicating ideas with the bride and groom. However, for me, it’s putting people at ease- make them feel relaxed and comfortable while I’m photographing them. I try to enjoy the day as much they do.

q. How would you describe your style of images?

a. Well, I truly enjoyed the 70’s pop-art scene while growing up in New York City. I don’t think I realized until I started to craft my own photographic style what an influence that I had on me. I really do love color images..and I love manipulating that to a degree. Yet, I also love black and whites- especially when capturing people with their emotions. Colors can sometimes be distracting- a black and white image eliminates all that and will allow you to focus on the thing thats important. So, my final images will range from color to black and whites and a few edits in between. I’m constantly experimenting with editing my images, seeing what works and what doesn’t. People evolve and change as time goes by, so why wouldn’t my images do that as well?

 

Long-version me:

Brooklyn born and Manhatan raised. I lived most of my life in New York City. My father gave me my first camera when I was 10. I learned ‘old-school’ techniques from him. He had a dark room and he taught me all the basics. His love for photography, well.. I learned it all from him. Pretty much ever since that day, I’ve been taking pictures. I just didn’t know that’s what I wanted to do for a living till much later. [Lordy! I could have saved myself a lot of headache if I knew then, what I know now!].

So, I went to Syracuse University, where I received my B.A. in U.S. History. Moved to Denver for a year working at the Hyatt hotel. That sucked, so I moved to Deer Isle, Maine where my father rented a small house out to me. I stayed in Maine for about 4 years doing all kinds of various work: painting boats; coffee barista, volunteer radio dj..you get the idea. All this time though, I always had a camera in my hand.

Then I moved back to the city where I enrolled, of all things, architecture. I graduated and then practiced for another 5 years- ‘practiced’ would be a good word for it too. I was had! Architecture school sets up a false front on what it’s really like: mind-numbing hours in front of a computer, drawing details and never seeing the light of day, or meeting any people. No thanks. The truth is, I love architecture, but unfortunately the design aspect of architecture is only about 10% of what an architect really does. The rest is…well..like I said, never seeing the light of day and drawing mind numbing details for hours on end.

It was at this point, that I really was at a cross-roads in life. All that time spent working towards being an architect and was I really going to call it quits? Turns out, yes, I was. Life is too short to not be happy in doing something you dont love. It just wasn’t for me. It was at this point that the light went off in my head, and the idea of becoming a professional photographer really appealed to me. Oh, all was not wasted from architecture. Architecture taught me about composition, lighting, balance, and to think about things in a unique way that all apply to photography. The technical aspect of photography, I’ve been learning all along.

So, I first started specializing in architecture. With my background it was a natural fit for me. It allowed me to see designs and appreciate them from a photographic stand point. I can almost see what the architect was working on, and can anticipate what it is he wants to show case, from the over-all to the arhitectural details.

Then the recession hit and architecture kind of bottomed out, so out of practicality I had to branch out. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Weddings, and family portraits on the beach here in Florida are big business. I was scared to death at first, afraid I was going to screw it all up. It’s one thing to photograph a building, which is a static structure, focusing on light and composition, it’s a whole other ball game when trying to direct people into various poses to capture emotion, all while everyone is moving around you. Well, I love it! It’s been a great experience to say the least! Every wedding has felt like an extension of family. Like I was photographing a cousin’s wedding. I love getting to know people and photographing them in their element…and hopefully, that’s what you see in my work.

 

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