I was always looking for adventure as early as I can remember. Whether the adventures were heading to the Badlands of North Dakota, up to Lake Itasca to find the origin of the Mississippi River, or just playing in the neighborhood woods behind my home in Minnesota; a few things seemed to be in common. I loved seeing the raw beauty of nature and I loved seeing new places. I grew fond of the long road trips too.
Almost immediately after graduating from high school I was onto a new adventure. Joining the Army and shipping off to Basic Training at eighteen started my life down a long path that I couldn't have imagined at the time. What initially was just a way to get out on my own adventure away from home, I quickly found myself exploring strange new places and diving into cultures I knew nothing about. In seeing these strange new worlds, I wanted to capture them. Before long I was turning to photography to play the role of my journal as I traveled the world.
I learned some basic photography skills in an elective class in high school. I always loved a beautifully composed photo. Seeing an image captured just right would tell so much of a story, but changed just so slightly, and it would make you wonder what was going on beyond the photo. For me, this was what great photography was all about. I wanted to be able to capture images that would tell and tease a story like that.
After two decades in the Army, and a few combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, I was nearing the end of my military career. As I was starting the next chapter of my life, I knew a few things for sure. I could not go back to a 9-5 job. I had caught the travel bug after living in Europe for several years. I wanted to live a lifestyle that gave me freedom to continue my wanderlust, and allow me to use my creative mind.
I wanted to be able to take my love for travel, and photography, combine them into something that would fulfill my desire to find peace and freedom in my new life. Photography was the perfect fit for me. Yet at this point, simply taking photos just wasn't enough. While I still loved capturing beautiful images of my adventures, just capturing an image wasn't enough. My creative brain wanted to take those images and turn them into something from within my mind. So I started up with PhotoShop, not knowing anything about it. I would learn how to merge my captured images and turn them into a blended twist of what was real and what was in my mind. This process gave birth to my surreal photography style.
This is the path I am currently on. I hope that my skills with altering my photos into surrealistic images continues to grow, so that I can better illustrate the crazy world that lives in my mind.