If nature photography has taught me anything, it's "Always take the shot", whether in reference to the photographic discipline itself, or life in general. I've found it's a good philosophy to live by.
I was born in Oakland, CA with a birth defect called spina bifida, and aside from my wheelchair, it rarely affects my day-to-day life in any significant way.
Before discovering photography, I was a writer. I was editor-in-chief (and later, copy editor) of my college newspaper. After a medical emergency nearly resulted in my death, I needed to start taking high doses of anti-seizure medication from 2004-09. Although the seizures slowed down, so did my brain - and my confidence in my writing. I stopped writing, but I still needed a creative outlet.
In desperation, I picked up the camera, which I had only toyed with up to that point.
Although I kept my work to myself (and family,) it didn’t take long before I began to realize that my wheelchair gave me somewhat of an advantage: being closer to the ground than many other photographers gives me a different perspective; I am closer to many of my subjects than a lot of artists allow themselves to get, so I have more of an opportunity to notice the intimate details in my flower photography in particular. This imparts a bold style to my work.
In 2013, I met animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin, the world’s most famous person with autism. Although I’m not on the autistic spectrum, she asked to see my work. She enthusiastically encouraged me to pursue flower photography as a career. One of my pieces, Temple’s Lily, is named in her honor. Due to her persistence, I decided to see what the world might think of my photography. My first exhibit, “Elements”, was on display at Las Positas College in Livermore, California. Originally slated for four weeks, it ran for eight - from January through February of 2015.
Shortly after that, I had the honor of joining the Alameda Art Association, where many of my works are on display among great talented artists of varying kinds.
My influences range from Georgia O’Keeffe to Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell for my nature work, and MC Escher and Dali for my more abstract work. I don’t do very much work with people at this time, but I am beginning to study the techniques of street photographers like Diane Arbus and Cartier-Bresson—so I can’t say I’ll never do it myself.
Graphic courtesy Eric Jones