My present professional work in fine art photography follows a successful career in a different field entirely.
Following college at McGill University in Montreal, I went to nursing school and became a registered nurse. For most of my time as an RN I worked in intensive care settings, looking after the most seriously ill patients.
One might wonder about the jump to professional photography, but there are some real similarities between medicine and photography, since they both represent an irregular mix of science, art, and emotion.
To be sure, I learned a great deal from my patients and their loved ones.
In order to help them I needed to observe the world through their eyes and to understand how their seesawing emotions might be coloring what they were seeing and feeling…
I try to use these life lessons to help me understand how other people might respond to scenes that I capture in my fine art photographs.
- Will a tired housewife perk up at the image of a little girl hugging a puppy?
- Will a young salesman with a million things on his mind find inspiration in a bald eagle’s look of unmitigated strength and resolve?
- Will an old man who has outlived most of his friends find a bit of comfort in the serenity of a quiet winter scene?
Emotions color our view of everything around us, and I want to produce images that will evoke feelings of wonder and pleasure in everyone who sees them.
My Emphasis Is On Fine Art Photography
I always have my camera with me and it’s my passion to take unique and inspiring photographs that elicit a positive emotional response from the viewers. I have a pretty good idea of what people like, and what images might make them feel better.
Just about everyone is going to enjoy seeing a puppy playing rambunctiously, the colors bursting forth from a new dawn, or a dense pack of white pelicans lumbering skyward from a wave-washed sandbar. The differences between a photo that tickles our emotions and one that doesn’t are subtle and quite subjective, and I work hard to get just the right feel in my photographs.
It helps to have a wide variety of subjects.
Mine include the scenery, people, and wildlife from a number of locations. In southeastern Wisconsin I’ve found some wonderful winter scenes along the Milwaukee County Grounds in the town of Wauwatosa.
The Milwaukee lakeshore has also been productive, especially for reflective images from the huge glass panes of the Discovery World building.
I recently made a pilgrimage to Alaska in order to film the huge brown bears of Kodiak Island. These great creatures are extremely intimidating, but they can often be seen to play and enjoy themselves in a particularly endearing way.
One of my favorite places to photograph lately is the little fishing village and artist colony of Cedar Key on the northern gulf coast of Florida. This area truly represents Old Florida at its best. It has terrific islands and beaches populated by an almost unbelievable collection of colorful wading birds.
Thoughts And Questions?
I hope that this personal story of my fine art photography journey, my photographs and weekly blog will inspire you to think about the real story behind each image. Perhaps you will then see the world differently and a little more clearly. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please do share them in the comments below, together with any questions you have, and I’ll do my best to answer them.