At the age of 8 years old I received a small, plastic camera in the mail after sending off 25 bubblegum wrappers. It came with film and a small booklet on how to use the small 35mm camera. After shooting the entire roll and getting it developed at the local drug store, I described the experience as “magically stopping time.” Being a magician also, that seemed quite appropriate.
I never took a class on photography, but rather I am a self-taught photographer that has run several miles of film through whatever camera I had at the time. Although film has a style of its own, I like using my instinct when scoping out a subject, and shoot fast.
I graduated with a B.S. in Music Education at University of Tennessee at Martin in 1983. After I moved to Memphis in the early 1980’s, I worked for FedEx which enabled me to move to Alaska where I lived for several years. “I had an incredible opportunity to capture great pictures around every turn of the trail.” The great nature photographer Art Wolfe inspired me in finding that emotional connection with whatever subject I was shooting. After returning to Memphis several years ago, I began working on taking photographs of scenes of small towns where I grew up in West Tennessee. I have taken a new look at broken down buildings, churches, people, ancient trees, etc. In the past year or so, I re-discovered Elmwood Cemetery and fell in love with its peaceful solitude that has a soul living in every monument. That “peace” is what I try to capture when I am there.
When I’m not busy singing for Opera Memphis or performing magic at local conventions or private events, I always have a camera ready to snap the next great photograph that touches someone in a very special place.