I'm kind of predisposed to loving photography and studio life since my high school summers were spent hanging out and interning here at TRG. Having a mom in the business is certainly a cool boost in the right direction, though photography wasn't always my first love. I was super passionate about music and actually went to school for recording engineering. I was in that industry for a while and even started my own record label with some friends years ago, but got really burnt out on the 18 hour days in the recording studio re-recording take after hapless take of musicians who probably weren't as talented as they thought they were. That experience along with my love for photography led to the natural progression of shooting live shows and band portraits. I did a ton of that in my youth. I went on countless tours with countless bands and really got a thrill out of shooting bands going crazy on stage and documenting their lives off stage as well. After a while though, I kind of felt like a cover band artist because much like a musician playing songs someone else wrote, I was just using a camera to document someone else making art (with their music). This drove me to start wanting more control and utilizing my own lighting and studio shoots. I feel like the fast paced life of shooting live music really laid the foundation of quick on your feet thinking and honed my skills for recognizing a good shot very quickly. It's kind of a "blink and you miss it" world. After my years producing music and shooting bands, I came home to Cleveland and started back at the studio which I grew up in. I suppose the rest is history.
Favorite Cleveland Hangout
I'm a big fan of sports so I go to Cavs, Indians, and Browns games every chance I get. I also love taking the family to the Cleveland Museum of Art - to make sure we always have a little art and creativity in our lives.
Favorite Project You've Worked On
One of my favorite shots to work on was Sweeney Todd for Great Lakes Theater Festival because it was the first time I had to concept, light, shoot and star in one of my photos. During the initial pre-pro, while we were discussing the look and feel for the shot, we asked if our client, Todd, had talent in mind for the shot yet. He kind of gazed off in the distance as if trying to think how best to say something awkward then chimed in "not really, but I think I need someone who looks pretty sinister naturally". At that point everyone's eyes at the table kind of drifted towards me. I was already excited at the super creative nature of the shoot and the creative control I'd have to create this fantasy Sweeney Todd world in a photo, but the fact that I'd BE Sweeney Todd on a printed 8 foot tall banner outside the Hannah Theater made it even more fun and hilarious. Quickly, though, on-set I quickly realized how limited my acting range was ( I think I only have one look) and started getting hot and uncomfortable under my nest of lights. Modeling is hard!! I think I'm better off behind the camera rather than in front of it. Added bonus to this shoot was I got to hold a straight razor up to our editor, Bobby's, throat for 2 hours!