Would it sound corny to say I come from a long line of photographers? My father was a huge photo enthusiast, and my grandfather was a photographer and re-toucher. I remember when I was a kid, my dad set up a temporary darkroom in our laundry room and I thought it was so great to watch the images slowly appear in the tray full of chemicals. Just like magic.
I tried all types of photography, but most of all I enjoyed portraits and nudes. I constantly begged my friends to model for me and I learned I really enjoyed posing people. When my friends were tired of modeling, I set up the tripod and took portraits of myself. I loved trying scientific film and cross-processing to see what kind of effects I could come up with (however you can come up with the same effects now in Photoshop with a simple push of the button).
I was definitely a late bloomer and when I was in my twenties, I decided to complete college (San Francisco State University) with a degree in photojournalism. I liked the idea of going on assignments, never photographing the same person or story twice. However, the life of a photojournalist was not what I expected. I found it tough to sit quietly in a room with my subjects, a fly on the wall, and shoot them without getting in the way. It was not in my nature to just observe. I talk too much and this just did not work for a journalist.
It was a studio lighting class when it all clicked (notice the witty pun?). I was no journalist, but a portrait photographer. In the studio, working with my subjects, I could be myself, engage in babbling conversation, tell stories, and mostly, control the setting and lighting conditions, no matter what.
So my life is very simple now. Marin County is my home and my studio is downtown Fairfax.