1 At what age did you become interested in photography, and what interested you in it?
I went to Truman High School, and I took photography my senior year. I was always interested in being an artist. My first job out of high school was at H&H Color Lab. That was the start of my photography career.

2 What influenced your decision to open your own photography business?
The first six years that I was in the photography business I saw some of the best photographers that were some of the worst businessmen and vice versa. I kind of wanted everything to be accountable to me.

3 What are your favorite kinds of images to capture?
My style has progressed and still continues to change. I shoot more photojournalistic-type shots. I try to shoot at a very wide open, low depth of field where I can really see something artistically and make that the focal point of the image by selecting a low f-stop (the quantitative measure of lens speed).

4 How do you balance your family life with owning your own business?
It’s difficult. I love what I do, and I think it shows in our work. Especially this last year was a challenge for our family because opening up the shop on the Square took an exorbitant amount of time. My wife was great to hold down the home fort, and she even works part-time for the business. I have promised her that I’ll start taking a day or two off a week. I pretty much work about 70 to 80 hours a week.

5 What advice can you offer aspiring photographers?
The beauty of digital is the learning curve is so fast now – just really shoot and critique yourself. The Internet is a wealth of information for gaining knowledge on photography. I think that if someone really aspired to become better, they could do it very quickly nowadays as opposed to when I shot film years ago. We used to have to wait a week to get film back from the lab and then go back to the settings that I wrote down on a piece of paper. In 2002, I bought my first digital camera. It was actually a slow transition. I did make the full change in 2006. It was the best move we made. We completely Photoshop everything. It takes us about 60 to 80 hours to get a wedding out the door now – compared to when I first got started 17 years ago, I would show up for four hours, turn the film in on Monday and I was pretty much done.