Frontlist | ‘The best thing I ever did for my career was setting goals’

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Artist statement: It’s important to me as a creative to tell the story of anyone who steps in front of my camera. But how do you capture someone’s story in one image? I do it by trying to focus on why I am creating more than I focus on how I am going to create.

QUESTIONS

Where are you from? Lakehurst, New Jersey. I currently live in Altamonte Springs

What inspires you? What inspired this piece/idea? In the age of the internet, there is never a shortage of things that inspire me. The internet has given many amazing artists a platform to display their work and show it to the world. I am mostly inspired by the possibilities that creatives of our time are fortunate enough to take advantage of. The world truly is at our fingertips, and if used correctly, we have the ability to inspire and change the world in ways previous generations of creatives only could have imagined. This piece was inspired by my children and their imaginations. I just imagined being 10 years old again and being told I was heading back to school in the middle of a pandemic and I had to wear a mask. This is how I imagine a school day would look through the mind of a 10-year-old who has no choice but to trust the adults.

How did you start making art/Why do you make art? My first memory of art was in the third grade when my small school got a new art teacher. He showed me that art was more than just coloring books and that what you created was just as important as how you created. What keeps me creating is all the untold stories out there just waiting to be told through images.

 

How have you developed your career? The best thing I ever did for my career was setting goals and requiring myself to create personal projects. It’s important as a creative to show the world and potential clients your voice. But how do you do that and still afford to eat? When I was starting out as a photographer, I only really would create what my clients were paying me to create. This was great to pay the bills, but it also allowed my work to be defined by my clients. With personal projects, I am able to create without the pressures or expectations of a client. This allows me to define my work and show people my voice and vision.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.

What is your opinion of the Central Florida art scene? We live in an area that was created to entertain tourists by the masses — a picture-perfect vacation destination where our primary economy is fueled by theme park attendance. This has created a scrapper art scene that has been forced to grow organically — slower, but genuinely organic and uniquely ours. It’s inspiring to see the sparks and flickers of an art scene that wants so badly to grow. Whatever it ends up being, it will be earned and defined by those creating it now and not defined by what already was established.

What is your favorite or most inspirational place in Central Florida? I always have been fascinated with the Maitland Art Center and its amazing history.

Who are your biggest influences?  My creative influences are always the ones who never give up and try to help others on their journey as creatives.

How do you seek out opportunities? By creating them. I approach every session or gig as a chance to make a new opportunity.

What are the biggest challenges you face professionally? Exposure — cutting through all the noise and getting my work in front of people. The biggest challenge of being a photographer is competing with my subject’s self-image and confidence.

What is your dream project? I have so many things I want to create and so many stories I want to tell, not to mention the stories or people I don’t even know about yet.

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