I think yes, that when I arrived in Seattle in 1984 I had already settled into a look as it were, a way of working. I loved black and white, shot a lot of infrared and in general was interested in the pictorial tradition or warm and fuzzy as I call it. And of course I was interested in the way an image was rendered, hence my print statement classes. The negative was like a piece of sheet music to me and the print was the performance. I always thought it strange that photographers, particularly the commercial shooters were comfortable with Ivey or Panda printing their work.
But yes I was determined to make my living with a camera. Coming here out of grad school I wanted to teach a little, do my work and do assignment work, with the idea I would eventually settle into a full time teaching gig. I fantasized about teaching at UW. It was a struggle to do all three and by 1994 I realized that teaching, especially at the U was not going to work out. The part time stuff just wasn’t earning any real income. So I quit teaching altogether to focus on my work and more lucrative assignments. I always had my personal work in portfolios, hoping to bring art directors around to seeing a job in my warm and fuzzy way. Fortunately in the 90s the world of commerce was clamoring for the “fine art” look, so I prospered. And when I chose to do stock work I was in hog heaven. I could do my own work, my way and throw it out in the world and see who wanted it. No art director telling me what to do. Coupled with the Royalty Free business model and digital delivery via the internet, I hit the trifecta of photo success. It was an amazing ride. But when the market place changed, I became last week’s soup of the day. But it was fun none the less. When digital kicked in, I switched to doing color. All my films and materials I was used to working with disappeared, and the darkroom ceased to amuse me. But even my color work has a soft edge to it. I am still interested in the pictorial look. I like where I am now. And I don’t have to deal with stinky darkroom chemicals