I returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan several years ago as my parents had come to that time in life when nearby family makes for a world of difference. Since my return I primarily photograph events for the University of Michigan as well as for people within the region. During my 17-years based in Ireland I worked as a photographer and writer, often traveling well over 50% of the year on destination assignments. I have shot for numerous international publications including National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Discovery Channel, GEO, USA Today, New York Times and the houses of Thames & Hudson and Workman Publishing. During my stead in Ireland I served as primary photographer for the internationally renown NYC-based Black Star Publishing. I remain ready and most able to photograph events, people and places locally or as far as anyone wants me to travel.
Here's some of my story:
My love for photography began as a child and soon consumed a hefty chunk of my paltry household chore allowance. As a tween, mowing lawns and such afforded my own Kodak Instamatic along with more film. Come high-school graduation, the gift I asked for and received was an Olympus OM-2n, an inspiring leap forward from a plastic point-n-shoot. Hourly wages soon bought additional lenses, darkroom equipment and my first rolls of slide film. Whereas my erstwhile plastic-not-fantastic Instamatic was never more than a sporadic companion, my metal Olympus SLR became a veritable sidekick, especially during a university semester of conflict resolution studies in Jerusalem and another of Spanish in Seville, Spain.
My first assignment work began as a photographer for the Ensian yearbook at the University of Michigan, where I graduated "with distinction" and a double-major in Anthropology and English. After several years working and studying in Puerto Rico, Spain and New York City, with my Olympus OM4ti oft at-hand and focused on cultural events and social turmoil, I returned to the University of Michigan in 1991 intending to graduate with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology. During my first semester I joined the award winning Michigan Daily student newspaper. As a staff writer and photographer I covered many aspects of academic life leading to my selection to cover the university's solar-power car team's participation in Sunrayce during the summer of 1993, when nearly 60 collegiate solar-car teams raced from Texas to Minnesota. Our team won and opted to use some of their cash and prizes to participate in World Solar Challenge during the Fall semester of 1993. When the University's media office offered me a package of flights and money to accompany the team to Australia as their official photographer, I did not hesitate.
Having sacrificed the Fall semester to cover the solar-car race from Darwin to Adelaide, I decided to remain in Australia for several months of working in Melbourne and then traveling. I returned to Michigan having decided to attempt turning my passion for travel and photography into a profession. Soon I was shooting and writing for the Ann Arbor Observer, Michigan Today and photographing local events and people. When garnered with sufficient funds and downtime I'd either road-trip or fly off to roam around Mexico and Central America with my camera covering such events as Day of the Dead observances in the Lake Janitzio region and the Zapatista peasant uprising in Chiapas.
(To be continued):