Swimmer, Aspen, CO, 2007, from Who knows where the time goes
Can you explain how you got into photography? When did it become the passion it is now?
At a young age I was already quite interested in pictures. I had a camera of my own (thanks to my babysitters at the time) that I ran around with and snapped portraits of family or of my friends. I organized these photos into albums, and for being so young I think I took them rather seriously. When I was in high school, I started to think of photography as something that I might want explore in more depth and spent a few hours each day making photographs of whatever caught my attention. And I’ve never lost interest; it just went from there.
What about photography excites you? And who would you say has influenced you the most?
It’s hard to say who in particular has influenced me the most but I can say with certainly that it is through photography books that I found the work that I most connected to. My bookshelf began with such varied titles as Emmet Gowin’s Photographs, Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, William Eggleston’s Guide and Rineke Dijkstra’s Portraits.
Untitled, 2007, from Northeast
Many of your photographs have a sense of a very peaceful relationship between you and the subject, whether it be a person or a landscape. What do you look for in a photograph?
Whether it’s a portrait or a landscape, the final image is always a result of an interaction – sometimes more of a collaboration – between myself and the person or place. I’ve always been drawn to photographs that are quiet or contemplative in a way that becomes almost otherworldly. In my own work I think I strive to find moments that feel this way as well.
With Lay Flat you have become a publisher/editor as well as a photographer. Was publishing it a natural step in your career?
As I mentioned, it was through photography books that my interest in the medium was became more complex and more meaningful. So moving into publishing photographic books myself was a very natural step, for sure. At some point I hope to make a book of my own work, but for now I’m interested in working with other artists and experimenting with the possibilities of print.
Helicopter in Flight, Essex, VT, 2007, from Who knows where the time goes
After graduating from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, you said you went from “undergrad student” to “working artist.” Can you describe a typical day of yours now that you are not in college anymore?
It’s tough to survive as a “working artist” but I’ve been fortunate to have some really great opportunities arise since graduating. As a result I’ve been able to put more energy into publishing as well as making/exhibiting my own photographs more often, both of which have been a lot of work but also very rewarding. I recently released Lay Flat 02: Meta so lately I’ve been spending a lot of time distributing the publication, processing the orders that come in through the website (www.layflat.org) and sending copies to select bookstores.
So, what’s next for you?
I just started assembling a new personal website which will include a larger selection of my work, both old and new. I hope to put that online sometime in the next few months.
The Sea, 2008, from Slí na Boirne
Lay Flat 02: Meta is available for purchase here