I deployed with the 1/278th Army National Guard in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was attached to E-Troop, and our mission while overseas was convoy security. In my crew, I was the gunner, which meant that I was responsible for engaging the enemy if agitated. My position allowed me to have a 360-degree view atop a 10-foot vehicle. I took advantage of this opportunity by photographing everything worth merit. It was my way of attempting social documentary. While driving to Mosul, an oil pipe ruptured. Causing oil to flood miles of desert, and because the blast was so powerful, it rained oil for almost ten minutes. The explosion happened miles ahead of our convoy, so we got to experience being rained on by oil first, then we saw the smoke. Before approaching the location, we came across this scene, working quickly,
I photographed it several times because we never stopped until we got to our destination.
I have been photographing portraits and events since 2007. It is a real joy capturing a moment of a loved one and sharing that experience with a family. However, other than this website and word of mouth, I do not advertise this service. I like to be in control over every aspect of a photo shoot. Having limited clientele allows me time to prep and focus on making each session a unique experience.
In many ways, this work is more of a self-portrait than a study of landscape. The discarded objects are representations of me. My biological dad abandoned me, and when I finally was given a chance to reconnect with him, he took it upon himself to commit suicide. Out of coping with that trauma, I fell in love with photography. I enjoyed photographing discarded objects and capturing them in a way to make it aesthetically pleasing; to bring back life to unwanted things. It was my high school teacher that guided me on the way to being an artist. It was his compassion and influence that lead me to my current path, and for that reason, I call this man father.
Like many, morality is a significant issue in life. However, if morals are essential to life, why are they not universal? For example, if we all agree that murder is wrong, then why does it still happen? Furthermore, does the idea of a universal right or wrong exist? These are a few questions I have, and as a response, I created scenes that depict my interpretation of conventional morals—exploring not only how a body interacts in space but also how light affects the analysis of a composition.
My work has always been safe in the sense that I am in control, and the work is replicable. To push my limits as a digital artist, I collage images together using photoshop and print them on transferable paper. After that, I use a printmaking technique to transfer them onto a surface. It is a one-off process, meaning that each print is unique, and I have no control over the final result.