Where I'm From
I was eight when I became a Razorback fan.
I was fourteen when I won my first writing award.
I was 18 when I wrote my first newspaper article.
I was 20 when I published my first photo.
I was 22 when I had my first beer. If you're not my mom, subtract two years. If you are my dad, add 4.
I was 27 when I left Arkansas.
That's when the real fun began.
Where I've Been
I've been a photographer for a long time. I've been a writer for a little longer, but one trade that pays even worse than photography, is writing. So, that's what I decided to focus on.
From age 28 until 32, I traveled full time as a professional portrait photographer. I was on the road 11 months out of the year. I was with an upscale studio based in Southern California, and they were really cool people. We operated through private clubs, providing legacy-style portraits to their members. Our clientele ranged from financially comfortable to obscenely wealthy. Most fell somewhere in the middle. I loved this job. It was fast-paced and it paid well. Because these were often very busy people, I was lucky to get a full thirty minutes for their session. This taught me two indespensable things.
First, everyone's time is valuable. Don't run the clock without a good reason. There's nothing more disappointing than a letdown after a long wait. Second, no one ever rejected a great portrait because it took too long to take. No one. So if you're going to take anyone's time, make sure it is worth it. Which leads me to...
Where I Am
I came back to Northwest Arkansas last year. I loved traveling and seeing the United States (I traveled almost entirely by car). There was something missing, though. I only spent a few months on a project at any given location. It's not much time to build any meaningful relationships. I found myself visiting home every other month, and it stopped making sense to go away any longer. Now I live in Rogers, Arkansas with Danielle, who is my incredible partner in crime. We have a dog named Canon who is Pluto incarnate. Our cat, Millie, is a psychotic bitch... but she's our psychotic bitch.
Some people ask me if I miss traveling. The open road, the new places, the new friends? Do I get bored now that I'm growing roots again? Do I wish I could trade the couch for a beach or my parking spot for a day pass? I tell them all the same thing.
It's all an adventure to me, and I'm having a great time.