I was born in Grand Rapids, MI where I lived until 2008 when I moved to Monterey, CA. Inspired by the coastlines of Monterey, Santa Cruz and Big Sur, I began exploring the medium of photography as a way to capture the beauty that surrounded me.
My early photography was almost exclusively still life and landscape work that incorporated very little, if any, human elements. As my proficiency and understanding of the medium progressed, I recognized a deep desire to use photography as a tool for understanding and explaining humanity. Undoubtedly this transition was a confluence of my academic background in Social Sciences and a proclivity towards social voyeurism.
My current work focuses on documenting the human experience, specifically exploring concepts relating to how our sense of home as a place is influenced by the people and environments around us.
I am a member of the Image Makers of Monterey as well as a Member Photographer with the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel.
I am a recipient of the Arts Council for Monterey County’s 2018 LEAP Grant.
Eden Revisited is a project about home through which I am exploring how people, place, and community inform one another. While this project is specific to the Salinas Valley region of Central California, it addresses issues that have universal relevance to our shared human experience. How do our values as individuals evolve from the communities within which we live, and how do the geographic characteristics of a place impact the ethnographic makeup of these communities? The Salinas Valley presents a unique opportunity to explore these questions and I have chosen to use my visual storytelling skills to create a photographic narrative of the ways in which these concepts converge. Sixty-five years after John Steinbeck immortalized the Salinas Valley in his classic novel East of Eden, I am using photography to take a fresh look at this incredibly diverse region.
Framed by the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountain ranges, the Salinas River guides this meandering valley between for 90 miles through the heart of California’s Central Coast region. These two mountain ranges provide the valley with dramatic backdrops in almost every direction and the river affords it some of the most fertile soil in the world. This soil, combined with an ideal climate for agricultural production, has led many to refer to the valley as The Salad Bowl of the World. The region is responsible for more than 80% of the salad greens consumed in the US each year and the valley’s agricultural industry accounts for an annual revenue of more than $9 billion and more than 47,000 jobs.
Eden Revisited is a photographic exploration of the people, cities, and geography of the Salinas Valley through which I am highlighting the multiplicity of shared human experience while simultaneously acknowledging and celebrating the unique characteristics of a specific region. The results of this project will be presented as a book that will highlight both diversity and continuity in a way that will positively influence how we view, understand, and treat one another.