WJC Portrait 2021

Frequently Asked Questions from Social Media ...

1) Where are you from?

          Born and raised in Manitowoc, WI but left there to join the US Navy in 1981.  I go back every couple of years and it's become a favorite photo location.  I live in El Paso, Texas now, my wife's hometown.

2) Where was your favorite place to live?

         Hands down, Naples, Italy.  The people, the culture, and food live up to everything you hear about Italy!  It's where I met my wife, one of my daughters was born there, and I have friends there still. 

3) What kind of camera do you use?

          I shoot with a Canon EOS R6 most of the time and a Canon EOS R sometimes for street photography.  The iPhone is something I've come to love using as well.

4) What is the best advice you've received?

          In the military, "never be the senior person with a secret."  In civilian life, maybe "never be that person with a secret," would apply.  As a photographer it's been to "use Google before traveling."  Look at images of what you plan to shoot, then try to NOT shoot that so your photos stand out. Thank you Ed M. for that!

5) If you could go anywhere, where would it be?

          Even though I lived in Italy for 17 years, it would be Rome!  I'd take any opportunity to go back even if only for a few days.  It's the most amazing place I've been and never gets old!    

6) Why don't you shoot portraits?

          Shooting portraits isn't as interesting to me as turning every day things in to photo subjects.  An object, preserved by the camera for a split second in time appeals to me.  Also, I shoot solo 95% of the time; choosing when, where, and what I want.  Portraits involve someone else's schedule, logistics, and time, I've never worked at it either.

7) What is the most interesting thing that's happened while shooting?

          Before I knew I could enter Arlington Cemetery via Fort Myers as a military retiree, I entered through the visitor center and went through security like everyone.  One day, at the metal detector, the guard screening my camera bag said, "Sir, please come with me."  I knew this wasn't good as he took me to a side table.  I thought I forgot to take out the Swiss Army Knife or mace I usually carried.  I opened the bag, and the security guard said, "So is that the new Tamron 100-600mm lens?"  I said, "The G2?  Ah, yessss....."  He asked, "what do you think of it?"  I just started laughing and he told me he was thinking about getting one.

8) Where is your favorite place to shoot?

          So many cool places, Washington, DC, Japan, and Italy were amazing, NYC was very cool too...  but it would have to be White Sands National Park!  White Sands is an ever changing place of natural beauty.  There's nothing like being the first one in the park in the winter when tourism is down!  Sunsets there are in-freaking-credible too!  Love family trips there too, White Sands is always amazing.

9) Why does it take so long to post photos from trips seen on your blog or Instagram?

          I have a filing system where the priority is on uploading to stock photo agencies because photos make $0 sitting on a hard drive.  Photos grabbing my eye, or requiring less editing, come first so I can submit them. Those needing more work sit for a while, till there's time to edit.  Lastly, photos that caught my eye but I can’t figure out why, they come last.  Meanwhile, I’m out there shooting and adding more photos, and the cycle continues...

10) How/why did you get in to Stock Photography?

          A friend suggested it to me, I had never heard of it till then, had no idea of what it was.  She was very helpful, kind of laid it out as to what it was, suggested a few agencies, I started making money that day, not a lot, but it started.  Up till then, I was shooting for my website and enjoyment.  After that, I was shooting stock that sometimes got to my website but not always.  Thank you Fran!  

11) What don't you like?

          Wasting time.  Whether it's me wasting time myself or someone doing it for/to me.  I get lots of Instagram messages and get TIRED of being contacted by Crypto Currency and Forex Trading folks.  I wish I could block anyone with Crypto and Forex in their profiles.  Oh, and red beets...  Really hate them and haven't eaten them since leaving home in 1981.  πŸ€—

- Interviews with TheCrazyMind.com

           - May 7, 2016

           - August 21, 2016


     I'm a husband, dad of three, retired US Navy, and self taught photographer originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin but now reside in El Paso, Texas.  Since 2017 I've been shooting mostly stock photography and my photographic interests vary. Currently, I'm a stock photo contributor for Adobe Stock, iStock by Getty Images, Shutterstock, and a few other companies.  My photos appear in numerous publications and websites, visit "Stock Photography" in the menu to view some of them.  I find photography challenging, humbling, and exciting all at the same time.  It's rewarding to 'see' something in my mind and actually create it through the camera.  That's the goal anyway...

    My interest in photography began shortly after joining the Navy in 1981.  I had the honor of serving as a musician in the US Navy Music Program for 30 years and visited much of the world. Frankly, there was no greater honor in my life than being a Master Chief Navy Musician (MUCM).  However, photography was short-lived early on because film was too expensive for my salary.  Being younger and smarter than I am today, I felt it was wiser to spend my money on beer and pizza while living in Europe rather than waste it capturing precious memories through photography. It was tough when I sold my Canon AE-1 Program after a few years because when I bought it the price was more than I made in a month. While life in Navy Music had me on the road throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, I did little photography. Finally, in 2006 I became interested in digital photography and have been hooked ever since. After retiring from the Navy in 2011, I spent a few rewarding years as an adjunct US History professor. However, it's the challenges of the camera that continued to draw me toward photography.  It's much like that of a musical instrument, I learn something new every time I pick it up. The camera, like the trombone, has been both humbling and challenging.  Once the shutter clicks, a moment in time is preserved, so the challenge is to get it right the first time.  Again, that's the goal. 

    Every day I attempt to apply the lessons learned from music toward the camera.  As a musician since the mid 1970's, I was fortunate to play with incredible people (see my Fandalism page).  The common denominator is that an instrument and a camera both require practice to improve.  Photography now fills the part of my life once occupied by music.  It's also become somewhat of a family affair and when out shooting, it's normally with my wife and kids; without my wife's support this little obsession would be just something else I'd just like to be doing.  Although I've gone through camera bags and cameras like most people change socks, she's always been there for me in 'life after Navy' and for that, I give her many thanks and much love! πŸ’–   

    Finally, at my BLOG I write about gear, travels, where I'm shooting, back stories on photos, or something that just gets my attention.  My photos are available for purchase here, just look for the "BUY" button to get started; no watermarks will appear on purchases.  Please feel free to contact me, comment on photos, or sign the guest book

Thanks for visiting!

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