(Photo: Nate Wray)
I was born in Hawaii, and grew up in the Texas border town of El Paso. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television & Film from the University of North Texas. In 2011, I obtained my Master’s in Photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin. I have lived in New Mexico, Colorado, and California, but still reside in Austin when I’m not traveling. I enjoy snowboarding and playing guitar, and love to read anything.
My passion for photography was cemented in 2004, when I returned to El Paso via an indirect, 7000-mile journey. While documenting my route, I realized that many of the ephemeral scenes I encountered could endure as art. From that point forward, I sought to ascribe a deeper meaning to the fleeting, exclusive and superficial impact associated with taking and seeing “a pretty picture.”
I have since become obsessed with photographing human beings in their natural habitat, doing what they love. We all have great stories, and we can learn to connect with greater ease if we listen to others tell theirs. Photographs are useless unless they are seen, and even more compelling when they are felt. There should be a dialogue between these frozen visual slivers from our past, and the contemporary state of mind in the viewers. I hope my work will inspire contemplation, create an epiphany, trigger a memory or simply provide aesthetic respite from the apathy and excess that narrows our vision.
Recently, I have gravitated toward philanthropic projects. I have been fortunate enough to find and work with people greater than myself. There are many who are in need of help, and those who want to help them. I believe it is our duty as photographers (and as humans at large) to promote compassion. It can be accomplished through the subjects and moments we choose shoot, and the presentation of our work to a wider audience.