When I photograph, I suddenly become one with the subject. As the camera clicks, I connect. Why is this good? The world behind me is lost, and I become centered on the world in front of me; I am in it! Wherever the focus lands, I’m all the way there - extended into the future. If the focus point is 100 feet in front of me on a fence post, a lake or a person’s face, my eyes and body are right there, transformed into the same place. That scene in nature or that person becomes a part of me, and I become a part of what I am seeing. It is a beautiful and restful place to be. Like the musical, Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, the whole world stops for me, and I want to get off for a moment. I want to capture and preserve that exact moment. I want to share that experience, that story with others. It is through nature’s peaceful joy and people’s generosity that I am allowed to record these moments.
While capturing a portrait, I look through the viewfinder, and my heart goes right to the subject - straight as an arrow. It is the greatest gift God has given me. Connecting with my subject is such happiness, whether it is a young child full of innocence, an eccentric lady sitting on a park bench in Balboa Park or a man in Jerusalem beaming with pride simply because I took interest in him. All over the world, my camera enables me to connect with people whose language I don’t even speak and allows me to accept the little bit of themselves that they generously wish to share.
Twenty years ago, when I went to Columbia College Chicago, it was unclear whether my commitment to photography would last; however, I took every class and reveled in it. Nothing in my extensive business background had prepared me for this fast moving new world I boarded. I was used to being the conductor of my own moving world where I was at the top of the game, knowing just what to do, being in control. Swarming kids (younger than my own three children), a buzzing, urban campus, riding the elevator to class packed-in like a can of sardines - it was all NEW - in capital letters! These were the days of film, when your hands got wet and the smell of chemicals revealed the exposure. Today I have a digital studio. Most of my printing is done onsite, and I spend hours upon hours gazing at images on a large photo board or the computer screen trying to interpret - through light and color - the image I saw when the shutter went ‘click.’ Hours of sheer joy!
If people viewing my photos experience an emotional connection with an image – be it the same as mine or a unique feeling from their own interpretations – I have done my job.