There is an instance between one moment and the next; an instance that no amount of posing or smiling for the camera will ever reveal. It is in those moments that we are most real, most vulnerable, most beautiful, most ourselves.
I take a photojournalistic approach to photography, preferring to let events unfold naturally rather than trying to arrange people or make things happen. I suppose this comes, at least in part, from the years I spent as a journalist bearing witness and faithfully reporting the world around me. I’ve been that way with a camera from the first time I picked one up.
Weddings are enduring and important rituals in our culture, infused with meaning, symbolism and expectation. I am honored and always a bit in awe at the privilege of being allowed to photograph such momentous and often intimate events.
For me, wedding photojournalism — in contrast to “traditional” wedding photography — is about creating a body of images that accurately, faithfully and exhaustively document the events of the day. I don’t direct people. I don’t say, “Stand here, do this, move there.” Sure I’ll do the handful of traditional posed shots, but typically I’ll get those out of the way in 10 or 15 minutes; nobody likes to pose on their wedding day.
People ask me how I capture the images I do; how I know where to be when. I think it’s part instinct and part really paying attention. I’ve been shooting for 30 years, I’m unobtrusive, I am there to capture moments that others don’t see. I’ve spent my life paying attention…observing, noticing, seeing the moments.
The images that people will look back on and say, “I remember how I felt then.” “I know exactly what she was thinking in that picture.” “I know that look, and how I felt when I saw it.” Those are the images that will stay with you. Those are the images you’re children and grandchildren will look at and realize that, yes, once upon a time, these two were young once and in love.
I know a five-year-old boy who uses his mom’s camera and takes pretty decent pictures of people…the photos are usually sharp and the heads are rarely cut off. Does that make him a portrait photographer? I don’t think so.
When I’m shooting a portrait, I use my camera to see into another person and find who is really there; see someone even they don’t know or perhaps someone they’ve forgotten. Photography allows me to share that with them and the rest of the world. Portrait photography is a way to find meaning and reveal the truth of life and love buried within all of us. There is in all of us some measure of beauty and hope and fear. We are most human — most ourselves — when we share that with others.
I hope you enjoy my work.
I am in love with dance and performance, and I feel fortunate to live in the Bay Area where those scenes are so vibrant and alive. I’ve been an avid consumer of performances of all stripes over the years and have even had a brief stint on the other side of the curtain. I am truly thankful to be able to photograph dancers and performers doing what they do best, and finding a way to capture and present to others some measure of the wonder and beauty I see.