Starting when I was five years old, my mother would take me from Montebello, California to Laguna Beach, an area known for tide pools. I would run to the reef’s edge, lie down on the wet rocks, roll up my sleeves, and gingerly immerse my bare arms into the cold water. I would then try to communicate, through touch, with these wonderfully strange creatures. One day, an octopus slipped into my hands. As I was carefully examining him he reached out and, with his tentacles, started to examine me. Everything turned around. I understood that we were communicating with each other, from one world to another. From that day on, I wanted to make myself small so I could swim into these salt-water communities and be an intimate part of life in that weightless and watery world.
In High School I enrolled in a photography course and it didn’t take long until I was hooked. I stopped wasting time and dove head first into my new passion. I then moved to Santa Barbara, California to go to the Brooks Institute of Photography. In order to meet people in my new home, I took a SCUBA class and, on that first dive, I was reunited face to face with my old friends from the tide-pools. I realized I was finally able to make myself small enough to share my life with theirs in the ocean environment.
At Brooks I was fortunate enough to be mentored by Ernie Brooks II, then president of Brooks Institute, and a legend in the world of underwater photography. After graduation and for the past 33 years, I have worked professionally in the commercial photography field. Now I am giving myself over to my passion of underwater photography, diving in the waters across the west coast of North America.
I realize now that as an individual I have always been small in the face of the vastness of the ocean. I have also seen that, as a species, humanity’s collective weight is having a profound impact on its resources. So, with light and patience, I pull the dimensionality of these critters off the page to greet the viewer. I am committed to using my art and technique to spark in others both a deep reverence and a sense of deep responsibility for the ocean and its creatures. My heart beats with love for the underwater world and it’s inhabitants. Through photography I expose viewers to new ways of connecting to my subjects so they too can feel the heartbeat of life underwater.