I am obsessed with how we are all connected. Obsessed with connecting to real-time in pictures that become timeless. Every picture comes from a feeling I had as a child growing up in Pittsburgh. A feeling of joy I strive to recreate everyday.
As an internationally known photographer, I am celebrated for my energetic and joyful pictures. My images often surprise with unexpected twists: subjects posing in boxes, chairs suspended from walls, and lots of things being thrown at my camera (which sometimes miss the lens and hit me). One of my most iconic shots shows Sophia Loren at her most glamorous in a Todd Oldham evening dress at a Beverly Hills villa with a leaf blower strapped to her back. Another is the photo of Ewan McGregor smoking a cigarette with his head in a lion’s mouth. I took the only posed picture of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together, sitting in Jobs’ home in Mountain View, California. I have photographed Warren and Jimmy Buffet dressing up as each other.
I am a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA where I will be returning to live with my family this summer. My parents gave me a camera at seven years old, unknowingly planting the seed for a long and successful career in photography. I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design when the photo department was run by Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. I was instrumental in bringing photographer Wendy McNeil to the school and subsequently studying with her.
Early in my career I worked with giants of photography Duane Michals and Annie Leibovitz, where I learned the fine art of storytelling through images (Duane) and the choreography of a big commercial shoot (Annie). Immediately after, I went out on my own and began to shoot for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Teen People, NY Times Magazine, Vogue, Vanity Fair, GEO, and Fortune among many others.
I also shot many of the iconic images from 90’s TV shows such as Friends, Frazier, Dawson’s Creek, and Seinfeld. Later I shot ads for TLC with hit shows like Cake Boss and Honey Boo Boo. I have shot ads for movie posters including Jackie Brown, Little Rascals, Flintstones, and many Jim Carrey movies.
My pictures have been included in most of the large monographs on photographer Francesca Woodman as well as “Light in the Darkness”, a book about Bruce Springsteen. My photograph of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates is in the collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
My popular book The Unforgettable Photograph, published in 2013 by Workman Publishing and co-authored by Scott Mowbray, was published in multiple languages internationally. It got the attention of Instagram and landed me the position of the first Artist in Residence for Creative Shop, the in-house creative agency at Instagram and Facebook. The latest wave of the book was a series of recreations made in The Gambia you can read about here.
Currently I am breathing new life into my archive by creating large-scale, custom prints. A reexamination of my most iconic images proves that I have always been able to bring joy and energy to any setting, with any subject - whether movie stars, corporate giants, or the beauty in everyday life.
My current work is focused on intimate, real-life moments - often joyful, sometimes uncomfortable. An in-depth project for Dick’s Sporting Goods focused on the emotional side of youth sports showed the power of the moments in-between innings, comforting a loss, squeezing into a tight uniform and connecting off the field with teammates. I have also created photos for White Wave, Crocs, and Good Day Chocolate which amplifies the dimension in our humanity that often gets lost.
In September, 2019 there will be a major exhibit with a collection of images from my friendship with Francesca Woodman at the MCA Denver.
Focused on the beauty I find everyday in the most intimate, real-life moments – I am always shining a light on the best parts we often miss. Photography is like playing the piano, “We often see the white keys as what we need to share – but often the most obvious doesn’t teach us anything we don’t already know. I want to share what we never share. The in-between moments. The obvious moments we look right past. The sugar in the bowl.”
I am obsessed with how we share what makes us the most amazing. This goes from startups to the biggest corporations in the world. From the most intimate portraits to the most iconic.