I began my journey as a photographer the same way many of my peers did: a camera passed down or gifted. It is something not terribly expensive but with good glass and simple operations. Mine was a Yashica-MAT 124G, during one of its final years in production. This was in 1985. It was an oddball relic even at the time since almost everyone else I knew had already become acquainted with 35mm. But I was and continue to be rebellious. I would prefer a larger negative. My rig was heavier, simpler, and so required more patience and thought. It required an artist’s eye, and that’s what I would put to it.
Fast forward. I was in New York pursuing a career in publishing. On my days off I would explore the city with that even boxier device but now with two detachable lenses. I shot mostly black and white then, and the results were awesome.
That camera came with me to Los Angeles, where I would spend the next couple of decades.
My cameras are an extension of me, my inner dialog brought to the fore. I compose when I shoot. We’re constantly moving in a place like Los Angeles, but it is through my constant pursuit of photographic exceptionalism that I’m able to see the details, the story, and the drama of the stillness between stoplights. I’ll always shoot, and most of the pictures are not going to be that good, but the ones that get through will hopefully transcend into a photograph.
I endeavor to see the story when I’m in the moment of capturing an image, trying to transcend its history. And in that moment, I often reflect on whether anyone has stood in the same spot I did and if so, who were they? Did she or he see what I saw? The possibilities are endless. Photography is the quiet observance of the fast-moving world in which human connection has been untwined to the last strand but in that tethering, we see and feel the world upon which we tread. We’re passing through this time; I’m simply a vessel whose strength is observation. I want my world to be beautiful, but I can’t force it. I want those who see my work to slow down and reflect. That’s what photography is to me: Reflections on this passing moment, and somewhere within the casting of that light there is beauty.