Please recap your past involvement with the club and say how you became interested in it and its activities. What aspect of the club have you enjoyed or benefited from the most?
The AOPC has been a community for me to learn from as well as share my love for photography. I’ve been on both sides of the club. As an attendee, I’ve watched some amazing presentations and joined field trips. As a repeat presenter, I’ve had the honor of sharing my passions and knowledge of photography, travel, and equipment and software several times since 2015. Meeting others with a similar interest or passion for photography is my greatest joy from the club. I’m honored to currently serve as the AOPC President beginning in March 2022
When and why did you first become interested in photography?
My earliest memory of becoming interested in photography was my grandpa handing me the camera while traveling, at family reunions, and during holidays as a child in the late 80s. Besides taking snapshots of people and scenes, I would flip through my dad’s National Geographic collection which gave me an early wanderlust for “exotic” places, an appreciation for documentary imagery as art, as well as a glimpse of how others lived across the globe. Neither my father, grandfather, nor any of my family were photographers per se, but I still quickly loved the idea of capturing moments in time and family memories. With no one around me who were serious photographers my path into learning the technical craft didn’t start until I took a black and white darkroom film class in 2001 at the Arkansas Arts Center.
What areas of photography especially interest you?
Nature is my first true love and passion. The therapeutic side of spending time in nature and the act of being present while taking photos is the “why”. Otherwise working with companies to create content that is beneficial to promoting their business is also challenging and rewarding at the same time. Abstract-nature, street, and travel photography are also a few of my favorite ways to push and explore creativity.
Which areas of Arkansas do you especially like to photograph?
I was born in the Ozarks and raised in the Ouachitas and have a great deal of time in each throughout my life. Both regions have a special place in my heart and both mountain ranges have a myriad of trails, waterfalls, rivers, streams, springs, hills, hollers, and even caves to explore! Plus there’s a good chance of spotting wildlife along the way. So really just pick a trail or river and get to it!
What other interests do you have outside of photography?
Outdoor activities like disc golf, hiking/backpacking, canoe/kayak/raft, snow skiing, rock climbing, hunting/fishing, foraging, a bit of gardening, and more. Additionally music, art, history, numismatics, cooking, and nutrition are all other interests of mine.