To say I had an overactive imagination as a kid might be an understatement. I used to sit and dream of new worlds where I could be an army soldier or a fighter pilot or a safari guide on the plains of Africa. I always craved the epic side of life and dreamed of living a life as close to all these people I created in my mind. Then… One day with a knock on the door my parents came to my brothers and I and asked us a question that was about to change our lives forever. “What do you think about selling everything we own and traveling the world for a year?” Although a little dumbfounded we all came to one unanimous answer. Yes! The trip led us to Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. We saw rhinos, cheetah, platypus and penguins in their native habitats. I surfed a few of the better waves this planet has to offer and made more friends than I ever could have asked for. It gave me a unique perspective of our earth and sparked a curiosity to make a deeper connection with our natural world.
It was later in high school when this love affair with photography came into fruition. When contemplating what field to pursue I knew I wanted the freedom to create for the rest of my life. I graduated with an Associate's of Science from the Southeastern Center for Photographic Studies and eagerly started assisting on photoshoots for Disney’s internal ad agency. I began to integrate myself as an assistant in the Central Florida photo community and began receiving calls to help on Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Sports Illustrated, Red Bull, Darden, Proctor & Gamble, and People Magazine jobs among others.
After a few years I reached a place where I was thankful for the experience I’d worked for, but had little to show for myself and my vision. It was at that point I asked myself “What have I been doing all of this for?” I knew it was time to work on a project that I felt mattered in my heart. My passion is wildlife, the environment and helping save the planet and endangered species for the next generations to come. So… After a little convincing, my dad and I partnered to create “The Wildlife Defenders” project. A photo essay that documents the efforts of those who dedicate their lives to protecting endangered species from extinction.
I’m thankful to still hold that deep love for imagination today. For creating new worlds and capturing the limitless beauty in our own. I’ve personally shot for Disney’s Destinations, Disney Cruise Line, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the Orlando Philharmonic among others. I intend for my photographs to feel rich, vibrant and authentic. I truly believe capturing that one, fleeting instance in time gives life to those moments that can last an eternity.
To learn more about the project or to find ways you can get involved check out The Wildlife Defenders!