MPA: Why do you love photography?
SS: When I was a kid, I never really enjoyed team sports with formal rules/plays…I liked skateboarding. It was a natural artistic expression, a fun culture, and relied on really cool equipment. I also enjoyed competing against myself to push to new levels. To me, photography is so similar. It feels natural, as if my whole life has been spent taking snap-shots of what I see and developing a story in my head. The culture is diverse and has very few rules, it’s not confined by a physical place or corporation. And let’s face it, photography allows us to play around with some pretty cool stuff! Processing photos is my digital canvas, where I come alive sharing what I want to say when words fail… My faith is extremely important to me and I never feel closer to God, than when I am immersed in shooting a beautiful scene or developing a story from a photograph.
MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?
SS: Where do I start…? First of all, the people. David, Ally, Adam, Nick etc. are some of the most inspirational people (not just artists) I have met. They take their work seriously and don’t put up with a mediocre product, but they have a blast along the way! After spending decades in the corporate world, it is refreshing to see people share their talent with others, instead of creating barriers for new artists. In a large part, it is because of MPA that I had the support and confidence to step away from corporate life, and do what I truly love…become a full-time photographer.
MPA: Your favorite trip with MPA?
SS: I recently took the MPA Pro Academy Course and it was hands down, the best money I have ever spent on any education. I’m signed up for next year’s Iceland Safari and have already started counting the days to departure – literally like a kid looking forward to Christmas!
MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?
SS: If I have my way, in a few years I’d like to be traveling the world photographing landscapes, local culture and events. I see this not only as my work, but part of my legacy. I’m excited to never stop learning or trying new techniques, while staying focused (no pun intended) on always creating a product that stirs an emotional response from the viewer. Whether documenting a moment, creating a print to hang in a home, teaching students or encouraging it as a hobby….I’d like photography to be the main conduit through which I serve others.
MPA: Any info you want to share about yourself and work?