My first inspiration in photography was my uncle, a Hollywood photographer and Jerry Lewis’ personal photographer. We used to laugh endlessly at bloopers he would bring home of famous actors, and I was in awe of the unscripted moments he caught between takes.
But the city life was not for me. I worked seasonally for many years as a Park Ranger for the NPS, USFS and USFWS on secluded islands in California, deserts in Arizona, and eventually Alaska. Between seasons I studied jazz piano at Berklee College in Boston, and went on self-assigned and formal photo tours to countries on every continent, including Antarctica, Galapagos, Kenya, Sweden, India, Micronesia, etc..
Photos and stories from tours and travels began appearing in magazines and corporate projects while I received awards in international competitions, and had images exhibited in prominent museums/galleries (BBC/London, China, Barcelona, Canada, Carnegie, Hollywood Director’s Guild, West Point Military Academy). Images have been published now for 40 years by companies including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Time, Newsweek, Terre Sauvage, Der Spiegel, etc. They have also been used in billboards, murals, NBC, PBS, subways, documentaries, etc.
Also during this time in the early 1980s, I owned and operated a lodging business on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. I learned a lot about the Alaska tour industry during the 20 years of operating the lodge, until I sold it in 2005. Rather than just working the lodging side of things, I wanted to integrate the inspiration of photography into a more complete, memorable all-in-one experience for fellow photographers. Plus, I had been gaining experience as a co-leader on some of the international photo tours I attended in the 80s & 90s, and I had been leading interpretive and backcountry tours as a ranger for 10 years.
I began getting requests from visiting photographers to show them hot spots in Alaska. This led to the creation of Alaska Photo Adventures in 2019. Our mission statement emphasizes ethical standards modeled after iLCP and NANPA, and a fundamental consideration of the bigger picture incorporated into our tour. From this respect, images with greater depth and energy will come.
Other passions involve consulting on photography projects for individuals and agencies, coaching photographers on goals, photo techniques and integration with life/work, leading private and group photo tours, teaching Photography and Media Ethics at University of Alaska, and pro bono support for NGOs in health and conservation disciplines.
My lifelong obsession has been documenting the limits of compassion between species, communities and cultures. There are many ways to interact and address life’s issues. Better choices can be made with better perspectives. Political and philosophical differences aside, images still connect us personally, locally and globally. My hope is to illustrate common joys, desires and fears, and motivate others to widen their “compassion boundaries”.