When and where were you born?
I was born in the middle of a snow storm on February 16th, 1984, in the small town of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. I grew up in the even smaller town of Harmony, Maine. My parents were back to the land hippies, and built their own home with logs cut on their 30 acres of land. For the first 11 years of my life, we lived off the grid-the running water in the house was a hand pump, the toilet was an outhouse, and the only electricity was from solar panels that powered a few lights and a radio. We raised much of the food we ate, so a lot of my childhood was spent in the gardens, both as a baby and toddler playing, and later as enlisted help pulling weeds, picking rocks, harvesting, etc.
How did you first get interested in photography?
My parents bought me a point and shoot camera sometime around my sixth grade year of school, and I tried to take photographs. Most of them were not very good, and I was not all that interested in photography at that point. I picked up my parents old film camera again my junior year of high school, and at that time it really ‘clicked’ (boo, bad photo pun). With a little help from the photo teacher and a lot of help from the internet, I taught myself how to develop black and white film and make prints in the darkroom. Shortly after that, I bought a digital camera, and my interest really took off.
Where did you go to school?
I sort of skipped kindergarden, and I spent first through eighth grade at Harmony Elementary School, with a class of about a dozen students. My freshman and sophomore years were spent at Foxcroft Academy, where I was a band and theatre geek. I then spent three more years at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, a magnet school in the Northern Maine town of Limestone. I spent one year that University of Maine in Orono as a New Media major, then transferred to the University of Southern Maine to major in fine art with a concentration in Photography.
Growing up without a TV, I read a whole lot of books, so picking just a few favorites would be very hard, but here are a few to start:
- Shel Silvertsein-Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up
- Anything by Dr. Seuss. Now that I have a daughter, I am rediscovering just how incredible some children’s books are. There are so many great books out there it would be hard to list them all, but a well written children’s book has the ability to rekindle my idealism, optimism and sense of wonder.
- Howard Zinn-A People’s History of the United States
Read in sixth grade, taught me to rethink and question just who writes history and what their agenda is.
- Water for Elephants, QB VII, Slaughterhouse-Five, Rabbit, Run, Haroun and the Sea of Stories