When I create, it’s all about disconnecting from the right now and seeing everything in the scene. Finding that spark that will make the image. Even when I pick a model, setting, and sometimes outfits, there is a thousand combinations of how all the elements can interact. I don’t try to control everything, but bring the best elements together and observe them interact and capture to show those magical random moments. There’s a certain Pollack esque quality of what can happen in front of a camera.
With my underwater work, it may seem counterintuitive to try underwater photography in the middle of the Arizona desert, but it was really out of necessity. I wanted to shoot and I couldn’t bear shooting in the summer sun anymore. I needed to cool off so I thought if I could shoot underwater, people would help me find pools.
I started my underwater work with a fourty year old underwater film camera. No autofocus, no metering. I was so enthused about being able to shoot underwater that my first shoot was in October in a freezing (context Phoenix Freezing) cold water that was just heavily chlorinated. The shoot didn’t last long, but even while shivering with burning eyes, I knew it was for me. I continued to shoot with that film camera until I got a digital one for underwater. It made the process easier, but I’m still glad I started with film.
I am not much of a swimmer. Contrary to what many people think, photographing and modeling underwater doesn’t really need great swimmers. It’s more about graceful sinking and rising than it is about swimming.