Embarrassingly, it has been way too long since the last time I have posted anything “personal” on my blog. Seriously, it’s been three years since the birth of my son (where does all the time go?) and that was the last personal post! While I understand people come to my blog to see all the work I do, I thought it maybe nice to start sharing some things about the guy who makes all that photo magic happen! After all I am much more then just a “photographer”, and someone who shows up on your wedding day to take pictures. I am a husband, a father, a teacher, a role model, a entrepreneur, a little kid at heart, and so much more 🙂
As time moves on I am excited to share more and more about my life, and one day when I am an old man I will look forward to the day when I sit down and read my whole story back to myself to re-live all the great memories that I have had in my journey, and all the wonderful people’s lives that I have also gotten to be apart of.
So to start — here are 10 things that I think are pretty interesting, and/or I bet you did not know about me. Enjoy!
1.) I was born here in Florida (Bradenton, near Sarasota) however I actually grew up in a very small town in Vermont (Richmond,VT) and then moved back to South Florida when I was 27 years old in 2008 to pursue more opportunity.
2.) I had major head surgery when I was only 5 weeks old. I had whats called “premature closing of the skull” and basically as I understood it, when a baby is born there are three plates (bones) that make up the head. They are suppose to naturally close slowly and form your head. Well, in my case that happened alright, just extremely fast and started to put excess pressure on my brain. When my mother brought me to the doctors for crying all the time the doctors told her that I was fine, and that all babies “cry”. Thankfully, her instinct was that “something was wrong” and took me to a different doctor, and after they did a CT scan (at her request) of my head they found the issue and I was on the operating table within minutes. After eight hours of surgery, and what was most likely the most traumatic experience of my mothers life (or any mother for that matter) they told her that I was going to be fine, and that they placed a small part of my own bone (took from my foot) and placed it in my head to stop the closing. They told her that if this had gone on for another few days un noticed, I would have had permeant brain damage. Today, remains a 6″ scar on the very top of my head. So.. lesson learned here.. go with your gut feeling. —Always— 😉 Thanks mom!
3.) I absolutely love the writing of Larry David for the TV Series “Seinfeld”. It has been some of the most relatable “real world” content I have seen on TV, and to this day remains a timeless classic that I still watch late at night in bed and shoot one liners back and forth with my closest friends. Puts a smile on my face no matter whats going on. Ironically, Jerry’s wife is also from Vermont and back in 2005 I actually “bumped” into and met him in person walking down Church Street Market Place in Burlington.
4.) I am married to the most incredible person I have come to meet in my life. From about the second date I knew she was the one. This year we are going to be celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary with our 3 year old son Austin, who has my heart on a string with one hand, and my motivation for successes in another. (he’s obsessed with cars, trucks, and anything with wheels or wings. I mean, wherever he goes he has a small car dealership in his back pocket LOL) I could never have imagined the happiness these two people bring me in my life.
I am so glad that I made a life changing choice to move and “take a risk” to follow my dreams.
I went on the first date with my wife only 2 months after moving to South Florida from Vermont. This was the biggest turning point in my life.
5.) I LOVE aviation and I have specifically always enjoyed “sailplanes” which are powerless aircrafts that are towed up to altitude by a powered plane, and then released to glide back down to earth. This to me is one of the most peaceful, and interesting forms of flight as all you hear is the air passing by and your flight time is dictated by your ability to “read” the air and stay aloft in thermals. Funny enough, I have actually made some interesting parallels with how sailplanes stay in the air and how my business (or any business) operates. It’s very interesting, and look forward to sharing more about it. On a smaller scale, I enjoy flying radio controlled sailplanes on my “off days” which I have built and become very good at flying. I cant wait until my son is old enough to join dad in the air!
6.) I started with photography back in early 2004 by strapping a point and shoot camera to an radio controlled helicopter to get some unique and interesting images of the landscape of Vermont. A year later I was commissioned to shoot the construction development of Stowe Mountain Resort’s new addition, and since that time moved on to other projects including portrait’s and weddings. I shot at a wedding for the first time in October of 2006 when I shadowed a local wedding photographer in Vermont, and from that point forward knew that this was going to be in my future… and I was right!
7.) My father left my mom when I was three months old, and to this day have never met him. I was notified in 2004 that he passed away at the age of 42 because of poor choices he made in his life. When my father left in 1981 my mother could not deal with the situation, and her mother (my grandmother) stepped in and actually adopted me at the age of three, and she brought me to Vermont (where she lived) and became my mom, dad, brother, sister and everything else to me my whole life. She is the strongest, most amazing person in the world to me. I still have kept in touch with my birth mom over the years. She lives in Sarasota, FL still, and I see her every so often. She feels more like a sister to me then a mom as that relationship was with my grandmother over the years. I have lived on my own and have completely supported myself since the age of 17 when my grandmother had to go into “assisted living” for health reasons, and I have had to “jump start” my life very early on by working and paying bills to make my way. I have an incredibly strong work ethic as a result, and am very independent in that way. My grandmother is still alive (as of the writing of this article) and is still in Vermont in a assisted living home where she currently battles Alzheimer’s.
Today, I stand proud behind my own son knowing that I not only get to re-live my entire childhood through him.. but I get to be the dad that I never had and that makes me feel complete as a person.
I will never be able to express how much this means to me, but I will more then likely be that dad fighting back just a few extra tears when I see him grow up in the coming years because it won’t just be him experiencing his childhood for the first time, but in many ways mine too.
8.) I started to really “cook” about a year ago, and now my wife is completely spoiled. (what was I thinking, LOL) Before this, we would “eat out” all the time and it was getting out of hand. Not only is eating out bad for you, but it cost us a ton. Ironically tho, I somehow spend about as much cooking at home..(darn Whole-Foods and Fresh Market why must you be so close to my house!) but at least I know whats going in my food, and I truly do enjoy making it and experimenting with different things. I love to pour a glass of wine, and start prepping all the ingredients. I kinda use this as a stress relief from my day. By the time my wife gets home from work, dinner is ready to go!
9.) I love animals, specifically wild animals, and more so Tigers. In fact, when I was a little kid my grandfather used to call me a Tiger all the time. It was his little thing. Then, after I met my wife it became my nick name with her too.. well, this time it was “Little Tiger” but I have over the years since graduated up to just “Tiger” LOL. I call her a “little turtle” because she is much more “reserved” and shy as a person then I am, and together we make a great team. That image above of me, is actually from a wedding day where they had wild animals out for the cocktail hour! I felt right at home, and had to turn the camera on me for a change!
10.) I love to teach. Which.. is very funny to me as I think back to my less then perfect track record in school. LOL. But, I undeniably have this gift and as I am getting a little older (well if you call 34 “old”) I notice myself taking more and more interest in sharing my experiences with others. Teaching photography & some business will no doubt be in my future at some point soon, as I truly do enjoy talking and educating about photography as much as I do actively shooting. Running a business sometimes entails dealing with not so positive issues, and like anyone starting from the “ground up” I have had to overcome more then my fair share of obstacles to stay in the game. While I do believe that making mistakes is a necessity to learn, and grow stronger..
I feel empowered to educate others on my experiences to not only help others avoid the same struggles, but to make my own mistakes and successes that much more worth while to me.
Through teaching, it gives a greater purpose for all that I do, and have done and this brings a sense of accomplishment back to my business that goes way beyond any image I will ever take.
Well, thats all I got for now. I look forward to seeing some comments, and you can look forward to more posts in the near future!