Making a living as a photographer is dream, when I was a teenager all I could think about was photography. At that point it was mostly thinking about apertures and shutters, and spending lunchtimes in the darkroom. While working in NYC I began to understand the business of photography, what sells, what doesn’t and really how to make a living out of it. Now that I am a full time photographer, I think so much differently about photography. Admittedly, I am a technical person, someone obsessed with the nuances of lighting, and all the little details of a shot. I approach all shoots with research and concepts to help create the most compelling images possible.

This past week PDN released PDN’s 30, which is a list I have watched closely for so many years. I spent all of Friday evening pouring over every photographer’s websites. I began to notice a common thread through out; I can simply describe it as, passion. Every photographer on that list was photographing exactly what they wanted to be photographing, in an honest and compelling way.

I often find myself thinking about what I would photograph if I didn’t have to make a living from it? I don’t quite know the answer to that, but one thing’s for certain, images with passion behind them are far more compelling to look at.

I spent this past week in Arizona visiting my grandfather, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years. I traveled out there with my Dad, who I don’t see nearly enough. I had a wonderful time, and really got some beautiful insight into exactly what I’ll look like as I age.

Additionally, I brought along my camera as I always do and started taking pictures, at first thinking about how I might pitch it to magazine, something like, “A long weekend in Tuscan.” After half a day of this thinking I realized I would never pitch these images, I would never even add them to a portfolio, I just wanted to make images. No lights, a single lens, a brand new environment, and people I love. I left not only feel personally revived but creatively revived.

Here are my favorite images form that trip:


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