I lead a team of photographers at Amazon in producing images of footwear and fashion accessories featured on the Amazon and Zappos websites. Our goals are excellence and honesty in imaging: we focus on customer experience and creating processes and documentation that allow seamless reproduction of images throughout studios worldwide. Beyond that, we drive for technologically based, innovative solutions that emphasize repeatability, quality, consistency and cost-effectiveness.
My history with advertising photography runs deep. Before stepping into management with Amazon I worked behind the camera producing imagery for clients including: Albert Kahn Architects, Amway, ConAgra Foods, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ford Motor Company, Frontgate, Gordon Food Services, Herman Miller Furniture, Howard Miller Clock Company, Kroger, Wells Fargo Bank and others. I have dangled from cranes 120 feet above construction sites, leaned out the window of a plane 14,000 feet above an airshow to capture images of the US Army Golden Nights parachute team as they fall away. I have seen parts of my camera melt as I photographed in an aluminum foundry and kept battery packs warm in my coat while shooting in sub-zero temperatures. I have worked with some amazing people, and it has been a great ride.
I have always been process driven, and I have been fortunate to have a career that spans a wide variety of changes in the photographic and graphics industries. I have shot boxes of 8×10 transparency on location during the days of mechanical color separations. I love darkroom work and alternative processes including platinum printing, pinhole imaging, and gum bichromate printing. I learned Adobe Photoshop at version 2.5.1, I led Amway Corporation’s transition team as we explored digital imaging, at a time when capturing a color image involved separate red, green and blue exposures and a motor driven wheel in front of the lens. I have a deep love of integration of technical solutions into the photographic workflow.
I am at a point in my career of valuing people as much as my own process: I am happy to step back from the camera, to help young photographers cement their vision and build their careers.
I often hear from photographers that share some of the historical experiences that I have, and more often than not I hear them longing for “the old days”. I understand—there was magic back then, view cameras, calculating bellows draw and reciprocity failure, convincing a client that a fuzzy, black and white Polaroid represented exactly the image they were paying for, and that it would look amazing once they had the transparencies and the scans. We practiced an arcane art. But truly, this is an amazing time in photography. More is on the horizon of change, more possibility, more control, more ability to execute on our vision than ever before. I am, if anything, jealous of those just starting their careers in photography today. And so excited to help them on their way.