What is your relationship with nature like and how do you express it?
The ocean is perhaps my greatest muse. I grew up in Southern California, so I’ve been ottering around in the ocean since I was a child. My reverence for the ocean knows no boundaries. I love to swim, play, explore, gaze, and photograph it. I am humbled by it and grateful for it.
Aside from the sea, I often seek time spent in mountains and in quiet. I like to think that I am my calmest most authentic self when I am surrounded by trees. I feel a connection to trees as profoundly as I feel a connection to humans. They are me and I am them, there is no separation. It sounds meta, but it’s true. :)
How has learning about the environment impacted your actions?
Once I began to understand the potential detrimental impact that my actions
have on the environment, I swiftly made big changes in my life. Several years
ago I switched to a plant-based diet and I began growing my own fruits and
vegetables in a hydroponic garden.
Hydroponic gardens use 97% less water than traditional organic farming, making them one of the most sustainable ways to grow food on earth. At one point I was growing 70% of what I consumed. Growing your own (pesticide- free) food is not only better for mama earth, but it’s an incredibly rewarding and beautiful process. What better way to connect with nature than to watch it grow from a seed into a nourishing full-grown vegetable?
It doesn’t stop with eating plants though. I am constantly asking myself, how can I do better for our earth? How can I give more than I take?
How important is mitigating climate change to your life?
As a person who captures the beauty of our planet for a living, I am very
serious about mitigating climate change - it plays a huge role in my day-to-
I’m fortunate to live in Southern California where reusable bags and reusable water bottles/ straws are the norm, but I think that we as humans need to take more accountability and action to make an impact that will alter the trajectory of our planet.
I think about all of the beautiful places that I’ve gotten to see and explore in my life and I want those places to be around for my children and my grandchildren to enjoy. I want them to be able to roam the earth freely like I’ve been so fortunate to do.
It’s not going to take just one person though, it’s going to take everyone working together to make it happen.
Can you tell us a bit about your passions beyond “work”?
It’s sort of hard to delineate because my work is my passion; I tend to turn my
other passions into work. I truly love what I do, so it’s hard not to “work” all
When I’m not holding a camera, you can find me: swimming in the ocean, practicing yoga, gardening, driving my 1966 RV, doing interior design, hiking, and cooking. I’m really passionate about all aspects of food and I always say that if I didn’t love filmmaking so much, I would feed people for a living. I probably will someday. :)
Do you find that these passions blend, merge, or complement your work?
These passions of mine, they absolutely complement my work. In fact, they often become the subject of my work. If I’m doing a project on my RV - I’m filming it. If I’m creating an alfresco feast for my friends, you bet I’m going to photograph it! If I’m on a trip, even for pleasure and not for business, I’m going to capture it like I would for a client. The myriad of passions that I have in this life really do blend together beautifully and for that I am grateful.
Is there a specific moment in life or a series of events that instilled in you a passion for your craft or passions?
I’m very fortunate to have found my passion in life while I was very young. I discovered filmmaking when I was 13 years old and fell in love with it very quickly. I loved every aspect of filmmaking and storytelling, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to specialize in until I was 18 years old.
The film school that I attended put on a scholarship program where they took a small group of film students to Cameroon Africa to make short documentaries for nonprofit organizations. I got to create a short film for a local organization that was combatting the sex trafficking of youth in the region. The work was heavy but wildly important.
I’ll never forget the way it felt to learn that film had the power to change people’s lives in a very real and tangible way. It was that singular experience that illuminated to me that I wanted to spend my life making documentaries that affected positive social change in the world.
Are there goals ahead, a constant love for the process, or a yearning to learn more?
I create because I believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do. My goal is the make the world smaller and more accessible by bringing nature and beauty into any and everyone’s lives through photography and filmmaking. I absolutely love what I do for a living and I would live my life exactly the same way as I do every day, even if no one ever paid me a dime to do it. I am grateful to have found something that I love so much that it doesn’t feel like work.
A key ingredient to building a sustainable future?
Joy. If you feel joy towards the work that you are doing, you will never tire of it. You will have the stamina to press on, even when things are arduous. Find joy in what you do and you’ll be able to sustain it for a lifetime.
Do you have a mantra?
Nothing is permanent. This goes two ways for me. One, nothing is permanent, so if you experiencing a time of peril or difficulty, know that nothing is permanent and that you will transcend this experience. Conversely, nothing is permanent, so be sure to relish in the good times and appreciate the beautiful things in life that make your heart sing, because they might not be like that forever.