Hello, and thanks for visiting. I suppose I should start this off with an introduction that can also serve as a warning. In all honesty, I am not the most “P.C.” person on the planet. That does not mean I am racist, misogynistic, etc… I merely means that, when I communicate, I tend to speak without a filter. The language I use is not intended to offend. Merely, it is more the vernacular that is used in the places I tend to hang out and photograph in most often.
Nearly all of my photographs contain a title and an accompanying story. Some of the stories are quick, some are very long. But all of them say EXACTLY what they need to say. No more, no less. And yes, some of the stories are peppered with “salty language”. In some cases, coarse language is the only way to describe the emotions behind the photograph.
I speak from the heart, and when I write, I write from the heart. And, since I wear my heart and my emotions on my sleeve, it all tends to come out in the story. I like to think that the entire presentation (pictures and words) gives a better insight into who I am and how I think and feel.
Photography, to me, is not just about a picture. Obviously, a visual representation is necessary, but the picture itself does not complete the process. The act of seeing, composing, taking, and presenting a photograph is an act that is only committed and experienced by one person, the photographer. Therefore, it is the photographer’s responsibility to convey as much information as they possibly can about what led up to the photo.
When I “present” a picture, the viewer doesn’t know what I felt or what led me to take the picture. They also don’t know what I learned (if anything) during the process. If I am shooting in an abandoned building, what were the circumstances? What was I feeling? Scared, nervous, exhilarated? If I am taking a street portrait of a total stranger (with their permission, of course), WHY did I want to take the picture? Was it the person, the environment, or the complete package? Additionally, what did I learn about this person? What makes this person special or unique? Sometimes nothing, but that’s pretty rare. If a person lets me take their picture, I find that to be a very friendly gesture in what can be a sometimes unfriendly world.
I like to shoot in my work neighborhood on the West West side of Chicago. The mere “West Side” has gotten very hipster over the last few years, and it no longer retains the gritty charm that I remember so fondly from the ’80s and ’90s. But the West West side (aka the Kinzie Industrial Corridor and points North, South, and West) still have the working class vibe that I love about Chicago. Work hard, play fair, and don’t get hurt.