Where it All Began

In early October 1994 I rambled down the open road in Southern Colorado in a VW van the color of gold dust. My left arm soaked in the rays of Indian summer, as the dashboard accumulated a residue of desert sand. Los Lobos amplified above the din of swirling air and tires lumbering across a washer-board road. It was a moment of absolute freedom. I’d handed in my badge on my fourth season as a wilderness ranger. The only artifact of certainty I carried, besides the usual kit of car camping comforts, was a large cardboard box with a NYC return address. Contained within that box: one Nikon Camera, two lenses, a sturdy tripod, everything I needed to launch a career in professional photography.

As I sat in my camp chair later that night, my intentions were far more practical. Fumbling through the camera’s functions, I wanted simply to gain control of its operations and document the beauty of the road trip. I’d no idea where the journey would lead, or that it would extend beyond autumn on the Colorado Plateua. Wherever I was headed, I was eager for the going. And I was welling with creativity like a child with a new box of crayons.

Ten years on, the VW van is long gone. Brands have changed from Nikon to Canon, but a camera is still in my hand. And the sense of mystery and magic remains largely intact. Though cliche, photography has provided a ticket to adventure, opening doors to places, people and events I’d never otherwise experience. If I’ve achieved any success along the way, its from never veering far off from what originally drew me to the craft. Photography remains about capturing beauty and sharing it with others.