The open road has always been something that has beckoned me since I was a kid sitting between my parents in the Oldsmobile on some two lane highway in Illinois where I’d study the horizon for any oncoming trains between the small farming villages between home and Iowa…and back again in the early 1980s. They’d have me and my siblings up and in the car before sunrise, dad sipping coffee while he and mom talked over the radio. My brother and sister asleep in the back of the wagon while I imagined life in these small places.
We’d move to New Mexico when I was ten, the summer of 1985 and live near Albuquerque until the summer of 1989 before moving to Kansas. Those years in New Mexico mom and dad would frequently take us up to the Jemez Mountains where I truly started to appreciate the world around me with a greater sense of depth. Getting in the car and disappearing had become a way to escape the harsh realities of life. Eventually…it would become my reality.
In Kansas, I got a driver’s license and would often pick a far off town to see if I could get there and back on different routes without a map. I fell back in love with a land most would prefer to fly over. Each and every day had a sunset more glorious than the last and the oceans of wheat found a sense of calm in me.
After graduating high school, I moved to the Seattle area and became a bartender. Lost myself in the bustle of restaurant work and long forgot my love of land. There would be rare trips into the mountains camping, and then eventually I’d find myself going every chance I could. I’d park my truck somewhere within the trees on Stevens Pass between Monroe and Leavenworth and there I’d sit and try to pound out stories…and someday…I’ll finish that novel.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid thirties that the camera became a part of me. Life had been getting the better of me when my father suggested one day that I just go. That I do what I always did best, and that was pick a far off town and go.
The camera was an Olympus Stylus point and shoot I’d purchased to take pictures of my son as he grew up, and it was in the car along with my laptop, pen and pad and stack of CDs. Three hours out, I came across an old abandoned farmhouse I call the ‘Pepper House’.
And I took a picture of it. I circled it and looked in all the windows. And for those few minutes I was that boy seeing a train on the tracks in the predawn, or the kid gazing awestruck up at mountainside, or the young man with his arm out the window on some highway stretched across the oceans of wheat and sunflower…
And with the camera, I didn’t have a care in the world.
Soon, I purchased my first DSLR and took to the road, falling in love with Washington State the way I had Illinois, New Mexico, and Kansas. I’d visit small towns and explore old abandoned farmsteads, and still do to this day every moment I can.
With the pandemic, I found myself free from the bar to devote my time fully to building knowledge and experience with the camera. I took advantage of sparsely travelled roads, cheap gas prices and surprisingly affordable hotel rooms. And the dream took shape…
My adoration and respect for the history of those farms led me to going after the dream of becoming a real estate photographer. The appreciation of homes built…and with that…the families within.
I prefer to shoot in outdoor settings with natural light…and have found a love for watching those families I shoot interact with each other. To see into their lives like I used to gaze into those farmhouses…
Feel free to contact me so we can discuss how I can help you escape, if just for a moment, in front of the camera I escape behind.