A little bit about me
I recall being afraid of the shadowy side of the pool as a kid. Believe it or not, the movie Jaws was the initial impetus for my fascination with the underwater world. I would scour the stacks of my local public library for every book about sharks I could find, take them all to a table, and page through them for hours. I remember staring at the grainy photos in awe of the animals, and the crazy photographer who would jump in the water with these monsters of the deep. Eventually, at the age of 12 I became SCUBA certified and have since become an Open Water Scuba Instructor with 14 advanced certifications, logging over two thousand dives around the world. The pool got darker, deeper and saltier but now I can see what lies beyond the darkness. I was always fascinated by underwater imagery, but never thought it was actually something that was within reach. My first forays underwater involved disposable waterproof (<10 feet) film cameras. Out of the 27 exposures, maybe one was recognizable as anything other than a blur with eyes. In 2007 I purchased my first digital camera and housing, coinciding with my time studying abroad in Australia along the Great Barrier Reef. I slowly but surely learned how to make the camera do what I wanted. While down under, I eventually spent some time as a divemaster for Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions, taking photographers to the Neptune Islands to dive with Great White Sharks. That experience was transformative in so many ways, including the opportunity to interact regularly with professional underwater photographers. I found that many of the most respected photographers in the world had origin stories very similar to mine, through their tutelage and friendship I was able to develop my skills. I enjoy the challenge of shooting underwater, but also the experience of going to places that relatively few people have ever seen and capturing a moment in time that will never occur quite the same way again.
I graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Biology and Psychology, and studied Tropical Marine Ecology on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in conjunction with James Cook University. I've spent the last 15 years in the public aquarium industry at several different institutions designing, building and maintaining exhibits for a wide variety of species, from massive sharks to endangered corals and nearly everything in between.
I am also a proud member of The Ocean Artists Society. Made up of world's top aquatic photographers, filmmakers, painters, and sculptors, united to protect the ocean by sharing its beauty with others.