Son. Brother. Father. Architect. Writer? Photographer? I try these labels out on a regular basis, always slightly surprised at how they sound.
I started out thinking of myself as a designer or builder. I knew in seventh grade I wanted to be an architect...but what do seventh graders really know about life, about anything? What I discovered is that I am really a story-finder and detail-catcher. To write, to photograph, are the things that set match to tinder.
Words and stories, shadows and light have always fascinated me. Over the course of many years, I found myself writing more and more. Writing began to open my eyes, and the wider they opened the more I wanted to see. I wanted to capture the sun and the shadow with my eyes, the way I captured thoughts and feelings through application of pen to paper. This desire took root in my head, and grew. On the day I finally bought the digital camera I had been coveting, I knew from the very first click of the shutter that I could now satisfy my vision the way words satisfy my thoughts.
My training has served me well in this new endeavor, this awakening.
Details. Textures. Shadows. Light. The hunt was on to catch them in all their infinite variations. Moments like snowflakes, no two exactly the same but all of them beautiful.
So this is what I do. I hunt, I search, I wait...I capture. Push the button, that little metallic click and a wafer thin slice of infinity is there for the taking.
Panthera onca is the genus and species of the jaguar, the largest of the big cats found in the Western hemisphere, and one of only four that can roar. The jaguar ranges from South to Central America, with evidence that they may be found as far north as the American states that border Mexico. The beauty and power of the jaguar has fascinated me for a long time. Maybe longer than I ever knew until recently. The jaguar had long been a creature of totemic and shamanic power to the indigenous peoples with which it shared territory.
So it has become for me. I dream of the jaguar, padding lithely through the jungle, spots blurring into the shadows created by golden sunlight filtering through the leaves. Panthera onca, a creature of shadow and light, it hunts, it captures, it feeds. As the jaguar closes its jaws, I press the button...I feed. Sometimes, I roar.
In my non-mythic moments, I can often be found at home trying to decide between writing, photographing, reading, cooking and spending time with my beautiful daughter. Some days I manage to combine them all. Those are good days.