I grew up on Shelter Island, NY, the son of a local bayman and a "summer girl" from the city. This dichotomy of my parents' backgrounds has given me access to all levels of society.
Two experiences affected my life and photography significantly. In the eighties, an algae bloom, known as the brown tide, killed off most of the scallops and clams my father made a living off. This environmental disaster changed my life and is essential to my work today around the environment in particular water and how people interact with it from making a living to recreation. I also was in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (2 WTC 62nd floor as a Morgan Stanley employee). This experience profoundly affected my life and world views. It made me want to understand common humanity around the world more. It also crystalized that life is short, and I needed to move with haste on what I want to accomplish. How this manifests itself in my photography is hard to quantify as the experience (like everything) became part of who I am. My move to Miami was primarily a result of needed a significant change from New York City.
My early photography career was focused on architecture/design, hospitality, and food. I shot for magazines and had hospitality clients. In 2012 I won AIA Miami's photographer of the year for the work I did for DEN Architecture. I also won a Miele contest with an architect friend for the best use of Miele appliances in a kitchen, which got us a trip to Germany and Italy. I was invited to show my work at the Venice Biennial twice.
During this time, I joined the board of a small Miami non-profit named the Overtown Music Project (OMP), trying to bring music back to the Miami neighborhood of Overtown. Overtown was once considered the Harlem of the South. With fantastic nightclubs where some of the biggest names in music would routinely play. In the '60s, I-95 was built over Overtown, and a vibrant middle-class African American neighborhood was destroyed. Today it is a shell of its former self. Where once there were hip nightclubs and restaurants today, there are empty lots. As part of OMP, I became friendly with a number of the musicians and came up with a photo project named "I Played Here." The concept was for the musicians to be positioned in front of places that had once been nightclubs. Most of these locations were parking lots or empty lots. The purpose of the project is to bring awareness to these musicians, and also I gave them the images to use for their marketing purposes. This project changed how I thought about my photographic career and made me want to focus on helping non-profits by donating my time and work.
After the Overtown Music Project, in 2015, I joined the board of Miami Waterkeeper (MWK). Going back to my upbringing on Shelter Island and the negative changes an algae bloom caused, I felt it was important to try and find ways to contribute to helping the waters around Miami not suffer a similar fate. For MWK, I focused on images that show the connection between humans and the waters around Miami to help with awareness and fundraising. I have also produced videos mostly using drones to show all the beauty of the waters around Miami.
Today I focus on projects that help the environment and people.
I am looking to help people and organizations that help others and or the environment, especially in this time of COVID.