Street and documentary


“What kind of photographer am I?”

Since the early days, as soon as I started making images, I have loathed this question and usually suppress the urge to snarkily reply, “a damn good one.” In photography, I’ve observed a common expectation is to choose a specialty, but I have zero intention of being only a wedding photographer or only a nature photographer. Both are excellent and worthy pursuits, but the expectation to specialize reminds me of something one of my mentors once told me, “When you make a decision, you murder all of the other possibilities.” So to me, specializing in one type of photography kills so many potential photographic opportunities that I want the chance to take. If I concentrate, I close doors. Maybe I’m the next Peter Lindbergh or the next Sebastião Salgado—perhaps I’m both at the same time—and I just don’t know it yet.

We live in an era of images. Photography has existed for about 200 years, but with the advent of digital photography and at the same time the affordability to see them give us access to billions of photographs. We’re exposed to thousands of images on a daily basis, from billboards and magazines to a constant stream of Instagram posts. The result: a world seemingly grown smaller. Photographs of far-flung places are more available and more numerous than ever before. The cycle of wanderlust continues to intrude into our brains.

But any photography isn’t all rosy filters and beautiful women on the beaches. For photographers, there is a flip side. Hard work and intimidation. Many images have been photographed time and time again, so creating powerful photographs can be daunting. Ultimately, the most potent photos will emerge from photographers who not only possess technical skill but also has deep understandings of why we take the image and how each of these moments gives us more profound stories to tell.