I was born on May 19, 1965 in Okeechobee, Florida. I was groomed to be a Pentecostal preacher, studying the bible and taking piano and organ lessons. I spoke in tongues. I learned to cast out demons. I was gay. I left home at the first opportunity.
A friend gave me a camera and I fell in love with light and image.
Another friend gave me an enlarger and supplies for a dark room.
In a closet under a stairwell, I taught myself how to make a photograph.
I made cash for photographic supplies in many ways. I worked in restaurants as a dish washer, busboy, waiter. I wrestled alligators at a Seminole Indian reservation. I was a santa for charity. I have assisted gardeners, photographers, and drug-dealers. I hustled sex for money.
Photography has been my highest spiritual practice.
It is no coincidence that at a time when I was abandoning the god and the religious dogma I was raised with, I should discover photography as a means to interpret my life.
In my early twenties the practice of photography gave form and structure to my brave new world, a life that was unhinged from the grounding forces of family and home and was fueled by alcohol drugs and sex.
During my thirties it quite literally saved my life.
Thru the ritualistic nature of image making, I healed deep-seated emotional wounds from my childhood that had manifested as physical disease in my body.
Now, in my mid forties, free from childhood demons, I find my life to be full of moments of transcendence. States of grace elevated above the mundane, moments of such inexpressible beauty that more often than not I am brought to tears by the heart breaking knowledge that comes from the temporal nature of life. The knowing that life is fragile and fleeting, that one moment is always dying to the next.
I have lied, cheated, and stolen so I could feel the erotic rush of watching an image magically appear on what was a blank piece of paper. I’m learning to cast “in” demons. I’ve always felt I would do almost anything to know the power of holding a split second in my hands, and look at it as long and as lovingly as I care to, to capture something as elusive as an emotion, and to feel the power of that emotion possess me each time I look at it. To feel the electric jolt of telling a lie convincingly and above all else, to experience the awe-inspiring, god-like power of creating and witnessing a truth.