I’ve been around some form of racing since I was a kid. My mother – a huge racing fan, and street racer herself – took me to my first race at Laguna Seca when I was two. I don’t recall that, of course, but she said she knew right away that somehow I would find a way to be around racing.
As a kid, I first began hanging around tracks in Southern California. A school chum and his dad were avid race fans and involved in quarter midget racing, and took me to Ascot Park in Gardena to see the winged sprint cars. I was six years old and had never seen anything quite that incredible. The noise and speed were indescribable. I was immediately hooked, and spent most weekends after that with my friend and his dad at the track. I started shooting the races from the stands and pit area when I was eight, using a Canon A-1 that I found in my moms closet. She didn’t realize that I had been “borrowing” her camera until I had used all her film and had to ask her to have it developed for me. She wasn’t too upset – knowing that as long as I was spending my allowance on film and hanging around the race track I was not causing trouble in the neighborhood. We moved away a few years later and I only managed to get to Ascot Park a few more times before it closed in 1990.
A photography class in junior high solidified my love of being behind the lens, and gave me the skills I needed to be able to develop my own film, and produce my own prints. Again, I was hooked. When my family moved from California to Texas when I was a freshman in high School, the new school didn’t offer photography – but they did have a photojournalism program, so I was dumped into that and immediately found my happy place. It meant several hours each day around the school and local community shooting for the paper and yearbook, as well as getting more time in the darkroom. One roll per week became five or six rolls per week. That work laid the foundation for everything I’ve done since. Limited resources meant being picky with your shots. It was a challenge I enjoyed very much.
In Texas I still managed to find my way to the local roundy round track, but when I turned 16 I found a new love. Drag racing. I got hooked on drag racing and spent a good portion of the next fifteen years at various tracks around Texas. Starting with my street cars, and eventually building and tuning a 1967 tube chassis Camaro. I had stepped away from shooting for a good portion of my 20’s and early 30’s thinking the only way to be “successful” was to get a degree and join the corporate world. I did reasonably well, but always felt something was missing.
In 2008 I married the girl of my dreams and she encouraged me to get back to doing what I loved. I had been racing at Pikes Peak for the past several years, and became friends with a few of the photographers I met there and one of them let me borrow his Nikon digital camera. I fell in love all over again and wanted to learn all I could about this new (well, new to me) medium. I got myself familiar with Lightroom and Photoshop, and in 2011 after retiring from competition, sold off all my race car stuff and bought camera gear. Having started with Canon, I found myself gravitating back to them in the form of a 6D at first, and in 2013 took the plunge and purchased my first 1Dx. Amazing body. Still have it and almost 400,000 clicks later it still runs like a champ.
Two little girls and circumstance have kept me locked into a full time job as a Project Manager, but I hope to eventually be back in a position to turn my first love into my living. With the continued support of my beautiful wife and two incredible daughters, I know I’ll get there.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy what you see here.