I have never felt really comfortable calling myself a Photographer. I am more comfortable saying that "I gather images" - little bits of things that I see. And then I 'do things' to those images and sometimes what evolves turns into something totally different and I hope more pleasant to look at.
I first remember taking pictures when I was in eight grade. The first time that I can remember "seeing" a picture that I wanted to take was on a family trip from Wisconsin to North Carolina. We were going through the Appalachians and I don't know if it was Kentucky or what, but there was coal mines everywhere and wild roses growing on the coal shale piled up along the tracks. I saw this one huge, black, mountain of shale and there was this one beautiful rose growing on it. It was on the other side of the railroad tracks from the road and I begged Dad to stop the car so I could get closer for a picture. I still can't believe that he actually stopped to let me do it. I think he may have regretted it when a coal train came by and trapped me on the other side of the tracks. My siblings didn't stop reminding me for a long time that there had 330 cars of coal, it was moving slow, there was coal dust everywhere and it was hot in the car waiting for me (no car A/C in those days).
Many people have been patient with me over the years while I was gathering images in one way or another. I just hope that the images that I produce bring some joy to those who see them.