I had started an interest in photography at a tender age of about 6 years old. I was fascinated that images could be stored in the little plastic Brownie style camera I had found in the house. I occasionally dabbled with it until I unearthed my Dad’s Argus C-3 35mm rangefinder camera at age 12. It had been put away since my brother and I had grown past the ‘cute’ stages and school pictures had replaced the need for my Dad to embarrass us in front of friends and family. At that point I had a ravenous appetite for information and would study every book or magazine I could find. At age 16 I pooled all my birthday monies and bought a brand new 35mm SLR Mamiya 500DTL. I still have both of those 35mm cameras to this day.
In October of that same year I had tagged along with my brother to a free charity concert in Paramus NJ. With camera in hand I weaved through the crowds to the front lines. There I snuck into the press area and was singled out by a very large, ominous looking man who I first thought was going to have me thrown out or arrested but instead picked me up and put me onstage with the Chambers Brothers (Time has Come Today) and told me to take pictures of the crowds with the band in them. He wanted to buy them from me. After spending the rest of the evening on stage with the Chambers Brothers and Don McLean (American Pie) my professional career was launched. I was hooked! I was invited by the sponsoring radio station to do other promotional events with them which developed an interest in radio and that brought me to school here in Jacksonville.
Shortly after I arrived here in Jacksonville the ’74-’75 recession was in full swing and radio jobs were scarce so I went back to what I knew how to do. I worked in professional film processing labs and trained with a wedding photographer on the weekends. I was later asked by Denise Carol to photograph her students and that lead to my departure from the corporate world. I freelanced doing weddings and won a huge reputation for doing dance recital photography. This work lead to a one man show of my portraits of the Jacksonville Symphony’s first chairs and the Florida Ballet during their first joint performance in the mid 1980’s.
I opened my first store front just outside of Sam Marco in 1986. With a real place to work I was determined to capture a nitch market photographing children and launched the Children’s Portrait Club in 1986. At a time when all other photographers were chasing the new ‘in vogue’ market of Glamour and Boudoir portraits I concentrated on making sure that parents had a true record of their children’s growing phases by establishing the first Children’s Portrait Club that is the backbone of my business today. One of the little girls I started photographing in the early 90’s I had the pleasure of being a part of her wedding day in July of 2004. Now I look forward to seeing that her children have an artful record of their growing stages when she begins her family.
I will most likely show up for your session in shorts or jeans and ready to play! -For formal location work I do dress appropriately. You won’t hear me telling your child(ren) to “say cheese”- I want the true smile, laugh, serious look, etc. I do this by talking, playing and being just plain silly and sooner or later their true personalities come out. My goal is to make the session fun and relaxed so the resulting images reflect this.
When studying with one of my mentors in the mid 80’s he spoke of the way Renaissance painters would use a window that faced north, so the light on their subjects wouldn’t change much through the day long sitting. In photography we try to emulate that same look, the one light ‘North Light’ effect even though multiple lights are used. Hence the studio name of ‘North Light’.
My daughter was born in April of 1990 and is the love of my life. She is a well documented little girl and I feel blessed that I had the talent to capture everything I did through her early years. I feel even more blessed that thousands of families have also entrusted their memories to me.