I became interested in photography while working as a teacher for the Peace Corps in Africa. Upon return to the United States in 1976, I was hired by a Fortune 500 company to provide photographs of their employees. I learned my craft by taking lots of pictures and studying the work of the masters I discovered. Mostly by trial and error—lots of errors.
In 2009, influenced by the Los Angeles South Bay art community, I began to produce images for the showing in the fine arts world. I began showing work in galleries, and I was rewarded for my efforts with the 2012 New Artist Award at the Palos Verdes Art Center, and had two pieces accepted for the Torrance Art Museum South Bay Focus in 2012.
By 2012, I became interested in mastering the art of making my own photo prints. Over time, I acquired the tools and skill set needed to print my own work on a large scale. This opened a new world for me in which the final photograph is not complete until it is printed to the artist’s satisfaction.
Throughout my career, my work has always focused on people: their work, their play, their gestures, expressions, and interactions. I was strongly influenced by Edward Steichen’s monumental exhibit and subsequent publication of The Family of Man, and by Irving Penn’s portraiture in his book Small Villages because these photographers approached their work often with an anthropological and ethnographic mindset.
With raising a family accomplished and with a successful commercial career established, I have now begun experimenting more loosely as the work exhibited here reveals, using a more painterly approach in revealing the emotions and magic of my people-scapes. My images selected for the Boise Art Museum's Triennial 2017 portray quiet, behind-the-scenes moments that occur at rodeo events throughout the country.
I moved my commercial photography business, Hill Street Studios, from Los Angeles to Nampa, Idaho, in 2013. I was immediately attracted to the physical beauty of the region, as well as the lifestyle of the West. Cowboys and rodeos immediately captured my attention. My first attempt to photograph the rodeo was at the Snake River Stampede. I came away from this exciting new experience feeling that my images looked like millions of others. I felt I needed to create a new look/style that would be fresh and interesting, as well as represent my own personal and artistic view. This endeavor led to this body of work.