It was my sixth birthday and my father, recently estranged from the family and living a life of hedonistic seclusion with a flight attendant, presented me with my first camera: a Kodak 110 Instamatic.
My mother, displaying a vindictive passive aggressiveness that I would later embrace and call my own, pronounced the gift unsuitable for a six-year-old and refused to buy any additional film beyond the 12 exposure cartage that came with the camera. It was left to my grandmother, who would later introduce me to the triple evils of beer, horse racing and roller derby, to take pity on me and secretly slip me a few rolls.
Since it's thirty some-odd years later and you are about to look at a site filled with my photographs you can probably guess that drinking, gambling and rollerskating around in circles bashing people on their heads held far less fascination to me than taking pictures of people engaged in those activities.
Over the ensuing years photography has been my passion, my job, a wearisome chore, a vehicle for sublime self-discovery and just about every clichéd expression of artistic fervor you care to mention. Like any complex relationship, articulating my views on the medium which has defined the majority of my life is no easy task. Perhaps the most apt summation is from a comment I received at a gallery show:
“You're not a photographer, you're an artist.”
I would hope that, at my very best, that is true.