I have been asked so many times about how I got into photography. Creating a blog I felt like I should begin by introducing myself. Who I am, how I got into photography, and where I want it to take me.
Growing up in Wisconsin Rapids, WI I had a father that shared his passion for the outdoors with me at a very young age. He would take me hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping. He instilled in me a passion to see this world and enjoy mother nature for what it is. He had always told me "It is up to us to protect it. If we don't who will?" As I grew older I always had this at the back of my mind.
In the middle of my 20's I found myself in college and along the way I met this girl that led me into a relationship that would change my life forever. Experiencing chemistry and love on a level I never thought was possible I was completely captivated. I could feel something inside me growing, a new depth and understanding of what love could be. It was short lived but the chemistry and depth of love that I had found in such a short amount of time was unreal.
After she had left I felt abandoned and lost, as if my entire happiness had just walked right out of my life. I felt as if I had lost everything. It was a very scary moment for me. I felt as if darkness and sadness surrounded and consumed me. Torn up I had to find a way to get out and think about life and the situation I was in.
I opened my atlas and Google Maps and looked up locations to get out and get lost in nature. I would hike and think about life. About why this happened to me, what was I suppose to do, why am I here, and what do I want to do with the rest of my life? I started asking myself all these big life questions. Trip after trip I began to rekindle my passion for the outdoors and discover more about myself. Along the way I began to take a camera with me.
With every new adventure I began to witness some incredible moments in time. Getting lost in these moments and capturing them with my camera gave me a creative outlet. A few moments of bliss that took me away from all the pain that I was in. It started to become something like a form of therapy for me.
I remember one day very clearly that changed my life forever. It was September 29th 2011. It had been raining for 3 days. Stuck inside I could feel my mind and the sadness that consumed me take its toll. On the 29th I walked out of class mid afternoon. With the amount of emotional pain I just couldn't deal with anything at the moment. I walked out and noticed that the rain had ceased.
I made my way to The Dunnville Wildlife Area, or as the locals like to call it "The Bottoms". As soon as my tires hit the gravel road I can remember just losing it completely. Breaking down uncontrollably I made my way to the parking lot. I parked my car and made my way to the trail. There were dark ominous clouds above me, starring up I felt as if the darkness that surrounded me began to appear before me. Far off in the distance there was a small gap in the horizon. In that small gap for as far as the eye could see were clouds bathed in golden light. The tears ceased as a sense of relief and comfort rushed over me. It looked like every description that heaven has ever sounded like.
I continued to the end of the beach where the Red Cedar River merges with the Chippewa River. With recent rainfall the rivers began to rise leaving little islands of sand on the beach with puddles scattered everywhere. The sun dipped below the cloud line and the sunshine glowed all around me. Filling me with its warmth the pain began to fade. I suddenly realized what was about to unfold before me. The sun dipped below the horizon and began to set fire to the dark ominous clouds above me.
The rush from that night changed my life forever. I felt as if I had uncovered a gift and a new purpose in life. Some people embrace photography for the enjoyment of taking photos, others for awards and recognition, some because they enjoy the attention it gets them, others do it for money. I embrace landscape photography with all my passion because in many ways I feel like it saved my life. It rekindled my love for nature that was instilled in me at a very young age and brought about a new awakening for me. It gave me something when I felt I had nothing, and now it has become my everything.
I bought my first DSLR in the March of 2012. When I first got my camera I set it in manual and set out into the landscape. Teaching myself the functions, getting lost in moments of pure bliss. I began to hone my skill and craft, capturing what I felt in the landscape. In 2014 I took to the international stage and set out to Nicaragua. There I worked with local businesses and travel agencies helping to capture the beauty of Nicaragua.
I began to enter international competitions. Competing against some of the best in the world on a prestigious level. Since 2011 I have been awarded over 100 international awards for my photography. I have always been competitive. It is a way for me to grow as an artist. To challenge myself to be better, to hone my craft, skill, and talent. So I can capture exactly what I felt in pure raw emotion. Capturing it in a way that you can feel it through viewing one of my photos.
I want to eventually embrace this gift full time. With all my heart, soul, and passion. To help you change the way you view nature. We strive so hard these days to separate ourselves from nature. I want to help remind you that we are a part of nature and not apart from it. Eventually when I make enough to sustain myself and embrace this full time I want to give back. To help secure land so that it remains public and untouched. So that it can be managed in a responsible way to preserve the beauty of nature. I would like to do this by donating a portion of my profits to conservation organizations. To fulfill what I have always wanted to do, and that is to protect nature through conservation efforts. I can't way to see the difference I can make in this world while I am here.
I want to thank you for reading my post and welcoming you to follow my journey. Thank you for enjoying my photography and I hope my story has moved and inspired you. Helping you to rekindle that childlike sense of awe for this world.
To help you choose the right size print for your home or office.