My interest in photography was first instilled by my Dad, who gave me his 1971 Canon FTb 35mm when I was 16 years old. He taught me the basics, encouraging my eye for imagery and the breaking of the rules he had just shown me.
My second camera was a digital Kodak point and shoot, which I interestingly received by winning a giveaway from mp3.com, the music community I joined in 1999 after years of offering my songs personally to fans and friends via DCC file sharing on EFnet.
Shortly thereafter I upgraded to a Canon Powershot, with my first DSLR being a Sony F828 bought in 2004 and which was unable to take any other lenses. Then came my first legit Canon DSLR in 2011; the classic and almighty Canon 40D, handed down by an east coast friend.
My 40D and beautiful Sigma lens were stolen from my downtown Seattle office in 2014, prompting another friend to hand down their Nikon D300, which I immediately sold to buy a Canon T3i. This was my primary DSLR until 2018, when I was gifted an Olympus OM-D E-M5II, shattering my loyalty to Canon and switching from APS-C to MFT.
When I say fan supported and backer sustained, this is pretty much the epitome of what I mean. Without James Papastathis, Chris Wysopal, Thomas Hargrove, and Per Edman, I would not be the expressive photographer I am privileged to be today.
Neecam (1995 – 2011)
Beginning in 1996 I started exploring the intersection of photography and digital manipulation; the wonder of webcams. The first neecam was a black and white connectix quikcam, that looked a little something like this and was one of the first consistent webcams on the internet. Over time, the cam grew up. It went from the PS/2 connectix, to a color quikcam, to various logitech cameras, to the amazing and still unparalleled 3com HomeConnect USB, complete with the lens pack.
My webcam equipment was part of the elegance of my images, and each camera I had gave me different freedoms that I exploited. The neecam became my gateway drug to the self photography you see in my portfolio now.
I no longer have that beautiful FTb film camera, donated (along with the host of lenses I had for it) to a teenager in 2015 when moving into the van. I find not having this gear in particular anymore causes me sadness on occasion, but in truth I’d only ever carted it around with me and had not shot film in at least a decade when I finally let it go. Having it around reminded me of simpler times, of the quality and craftsmanship long lost to parasitic capitalist bloat, and of the first of many men in my life who encouraged me to figure out, and express, who I was.