My blog site is the journalism aspect of my photography business. Of course, as such, my subjects do not pay for that coverage.
As a concert photographer, however, I do make myself available for music event photography. I also make my photographs from events available for purchase.
As a writer, I am happy to consider proposals from those who require my journalist skills.
I ask people who seek to hire me to look at my work because therein lies the best reflection of what I have to offer. However, I understand that it’s important to clients to know the nuts and bolts of who they are hiring. The short version is: my passion and talents lie in storytelling both with words and photographs.
I’ve spent the past 30 years covering events from spot news to human interest to illustrations and portraits for many publications and, now, my own publication: Blues Insights.
I worked as a staff photographer for The Kansas City Star, The Boulder Daily Camera, The Pueblo Chieftain, The Leavenworth Times and The St. Joseph News-Press. My photos have been published worldwide and via outlets such as Associated Press. I wrote and photographed stories also for The Leavenworth Times and The St. Joseph News-Press. I have also photographed portraits, weddings (10 years) and music events (on my own since 2009) outside of working for publications.
I am a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism. I am a 1995 attendee of the Missouri Photo Workshop and dozens of seminars and other workshops to continually further my knowledge.
I’ve photographed the likes of Michael Jackson, Lilly Tomlin, Paul Simon, Walter Cronkite, too many celebrities, politicians and musicians to name. But, just as important to me were the stories of everyday, hard-working people whose personal life events touched the lives of our readerships. Over the years, I became known within journalism circles for having a knack of finding these everyday-people stories…because…I listen and observe and have an innate curiosity coupled with a belief: that the best way to experience being human is to connect with stories of other humans, whether the stories make you laugh or make you cry or open up a new personal insight.
You can’t work with the best in the publishing and photography business without pushing yourself to be at the highest level also. I am always pushing myself to do something different, better and more interesting because of the tremendous support I received from other great writers and photographers over the years. The competitive spirit within these circles gave me an internal drive, confidence and humility to work around both celebrity circumstances and everyday people who all deserve the same level of respect.
I feel my work should be dedicated, however, to my journalism professor: Mr. Charles Hammer – a man with a Jimmy Stewart-style wit and mannerism – who stood firm as a journalist during the 1960s riot coverage, getting scathing criticism from both sides of the civil rights issue while steadfastly maintaining his journalistic integrity. His encouragement, his support as I reached graduation and his teach-by-example style are memories that come back to me to keep me grounded in challenging times.
Goal for Clients
My goal for clients is to bring them something new and fresh that reflects the best in themselves. It’s easy to criticize a music event – everybody is a critique – and it’s easy to gush the same old cliches followed by exclamation points. What I find much more interesting to read is when the writer takes time to see that spark of individuality every person possesses – and bring that out in an interesting way.
It’s true what they say that photographing live events does takes both quick reflexes and patience – quite often requiring calm under time pressures and heavy scrutiny. Having a photographer in the subject’s personal space, being scrutinized through a lens, can be unsettling unless there is a bond of trust from knowing that photographer’s reputation and work.
All that said, I remember asking a client what was most important to him in hiring a photographer and was pleasantly surprised by his simple answer:
“I want somebody reliable, who’s good, – but I also want somebody I can get along with.”
I got the job.