Born and raised in Pacoima a rough neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley made famous by the beating of Rodney King by the LAPD, I always excelled in sports, notably as a baseball pitcher, football, basketball, surfing and motor cross racing.
My affinity for images was already clear but I was unable to join the photography club of my school due to the high cost of a Nikon camera I asked my parents.
After 12 years working at a Vons store, I saved enough money to get myself to Europe. Remembering a comedian say: “if you are 30 years old and your job entails a name badge, it’s time for a career move”, I decided, on a rainy day in Paris to call my boss from a phone booth located on the Champs Elysees and tell him I would not be coming back.
While in France I was able to obtain a camera and managed to talk my way into shooting a look book for a designer who was very pleased with the results.
Feeling confident from my first experience, I started to test models in Paris, Athens and Milan. After 3 months of shooting under my belt, I went back to L.A without a job. The next two years of my life were pretty much spent surfing and racking up a very large credit card debt.
A friend from my old job asked to see my pictures from Europe and liked them enough to set up a meeting with Lori Berger, editor of a brand new teen magazine
called Jump. Impressed by the work Lori Berger assigned me to shoot a cover with a model named Josie Maran. Successful in my first assignment, I shot more covers and editorials for Jump and other magazines on a regular basis.
My published work got noticed by Basil Bearer, who I consider to be the 2nd most influential person in my life after my father. Basil who at the time was the Head Creative Director for Target and impressed by my talent, gave me an opportunity to shoot, on a California beach for a designer known to never be impressed. Everyone loved the result, including the designer and that got me on a plane to Turks and Caicos for a three weeks swimwear shoot. This dream job made me realize how fortunate I am, to be getting paid to do what I love most, taking pictures in a paradise location surrounded by turquoise water and a beautiful blue sky with puffy white clouds.
My love for the camera is stronger than ever. I am so grateful to have traveled to many exotic locations, various countries around the world, to have had the privilege to work with some very creative and talented people and shot many of today’s celebrities. My long lasting relationships with two of America’s largest retail store Kohl’s and Target brings fond memories and am so appreciative for the opportunities they have provided me.