Which photographers had an influence on you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I would say the biggest influence was Joe Wabe. He taught me a lot about the technical aspects but I think the most influence he had was with my concept of a good composition and what makes a good photograph more touching. Joe helped me to look at the world through my heart and instilled some very valuable instincts in me. Many things that he has said over the years about emotion and composition still replay through my mind when I get ready to make a photo.
Dylan Goldby has also helped me in a big way. Career wise he’s coached me about some of the do’s and don’ts of business here in Korea. He’s always been there to offer any advice I may need when I am stuck. He has been a part of helping me with my knowledge of lighting. I attended one of his workshops a couple of years ago and it was a really great way for me to get over my fear of using artificial lighting!
I also enjoy looking at the works of Jessica Marie Berggrun, Marco Devon, Olga Lian, Andy Faulk, John Steele and Pete de Marco. While they photograph completely different subjects than I do, I enjoy looking at their photography. They inspire me creatively, I enjoy their use of lighting, I look closely at their processing and I try to figure out what it is about their photo that has evoked emotion in me.
I feel grateful to call many of these people big inspirations turned friends.
What exactly do you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
I always want someone to feel something when they look at one of my photos. Professionally in my wedding photography of course I want to portray the strong, raw emotions that those people felt at the time whether it’s happiness or sadness. On a more personal level, I enjoy taking photos with my phone very much. When I take a photo of something it’s because I feel something at the time that I want to document and I want to be able to have the viewer feel with me.
The way I achieve this I think is because of my minimalistic approach to composition and light. I like surrounding the subject with a lot of negative space with a pop of light and this (I think) has a strong impression.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?
All of those things except politics 😉 I don’t particularly like politics in any shape or form.
I greatly enjoy the fact that I still am so immensely hungry to learn. I don’t ever chase after perfection in my work but rather I chase after improvements on every level. This is a big part of life and I love that something that takes up so much of my time has that quality to it.
What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
For me personally, memorable photographs are mostly ones that portray something raw and honest (be it the subject’s emotions or the photographer’s), has a beautiful kiss of light somewhere to highlight the subject or simply makes me admire the creativity of it. Basically, I want to feel something. Anything.
What is one question nobody has ever asked you—that you wish they asked you?
“Can I help you edit that wedding?” haha.