I am a true believer that each photograph should be much more than just a picture. It should tell a story, even if that story is completely unto the subject. Hopefully, each individual who sees it will be intrigued enough to imagine their own curious assumptions.
What inspires me the most artistically is finding beauty within decay. I love the contrast between life and death, and the similarities we all experience in between. I like using “dark” imagery to inspire those who look at it to think about their own mortality and of those around them, and hopefully take away the notion that even in the darkest times there is some light somewhere if you just look for it.
I’m also a big fan of horror. Not necessarily gore: I think what’s truly more terrifying than that is the unseen things lurking in the dark. While gore tends to be more visually blatant, it’s those glimpses of looming shapes, maybe a claw or tentacle, the glistening of sharp teeth, and the anticipation that is the real terror to me. The possibility of what might be creeping in the shadows is the true horror.
I never intended to make a career out of photography. For most of my life, beginning with my very first camera which my mother bought for me at a yard sale I was actively discouraged from taking pictures. It mostly had to do with the cost of film and my childish impulses to “waste film on dumb things”. Years later when I acquired a digital camera, the big complaint was that it took too long to set up a shot. So for me, photography was something that always seemed off limits.
It really wasn’t until sometime in 2006 that anyone encouraged me to explore photography as an artistic medium. That person is my fabulous wife, an accomplished artist in a wide range of media. Without her, I would have never taken up photography. She was almost entirely instrumental in my gravitation to the camera. Even then, I still did not pursue it as anything more than a hobby for quite some time as my first love was music, so pretty much all of my available resources were poured into creating it and performing on stage.
In 2015, I purchased my first professional camera. I had just spent the last three years giving my all to a band that unfortunately fizzled out. By then my interest in the performing aspect of music had dwindled and I no longer had any desire to get involved with another band. I decided to sell off most of my music gear, and used the money to purchase a nice camera and whatever accessories I could afford. I didn’t really have any particular direction in mind (hence the name Mixed-Debris). I just wanted to be able to capture images of anything and everything that caught my attention. It didn’t take long before some of my friends who were into modeling began asking me to photograph them. Between that and the growing number of people who expressed interest in my work, I decided to make the leap into turning it into a full time career.
Q & A
Why do you have to be so damn creepy?
I don’t know. I guess I’ve always been a little morbid. I grew up watching Scooby Doo, The Munsters, and The Addams Family. I guess it just rubbed off. Fortunately I also watched enough Bugs Bunny to not take it too seriously.
Do you do portraiture that isn’t creepy?
Of course! While my main interest is the macabre, I very much enjoy creating photographs that celebrate life and bring pleasure to the beholder!
Do you do weddings?
For the most part, no. Despite my past experience in a band setting I am fairly introverted, and gatherings of strangers make me uncomfortable. Perhaps under certain circumstances, such as a horror themed wedding I might but I probably wouldn’t hang around for the reception.
What about senior pics?
Sure! Senior photography is a great study in the transition of an individual, and I relish the idea of documenting that with a beautiful photograph!
Is that a snake in your studio? And tarantulas???
Yes, but don’t worry. We have been very careful to secure their domiciles so that they cannot escape. We don’t handle the spiders anyway for their own safety, and the snake only comes out if everyone in the room is completely comfortable and wants to see her up close. Even people who don’t like snakes grow to love Buttercup… she’s a sweetie!