I started into photography during my junior year of high school after a deer hunting experience with my dad and my dad's friend Marcia. She had an old 35mm camera and when she pulled it out of her bag I was looking at it and wondering how do you take a picture with that, with all of those buttons and configurations? Marcia suggested to take a photography class, so I signed up for one.
At first I wasn't the biggest fan, Mr. Don Harvey spent the first two weeks of class talking and going over things before we even got to touch a camera. I wasn't good at it at all, couldn't roll the film in the dark, had a hard time developing in the darkroom, and my pictures just weren't very appealing, but through it all Mr. Harvey was very supportive and motivational to keep trying and keep practicing. Through it all Mr. Harvey's advice really paid off.
During late April of that same year, I had asked my friend Bryanna if she had gotten anything for her mom yet for Mother's Day and if she hadn't if I could take pictures of her and her younger brother Dylan for their mom, Debbie, for a Mother's Day gift. After we had went out and took a roll or 2 of film, we went and got them developed, picked a few of the better ones out, and finally decided on a print to make a 5x7 print and get it framed for her mom. As we went back to her house to give Debbie the gift, she unwrapped the picture and took a glance at it, and I saw her reaction, my heart dropped, and almost right there and then I knew I wanted to do that again. The thought of someone appreciating my artwork, and being emotionally touched made that experience an experience I will never forget.
My photography took off from there. I photographed one of my friend Kim Noel's, senior portraits our senior year in 2005, and word of mouth took in, and I was getting calls and emails for many different photography requests.
After receiving my Associates degree for Marketing in May 2008. I had photographed as a freelance photographer for the La Crosse Tribune, Holmen Courier, Onalaska Community Life, Coulee News, Vernon County Broadcaster, and several other newspapers around the state of Wisconsin for 3 years ending in 2008.
I also spent a lot of my free time going in and out of the La Crosse Tribune to get different tips and advice from a couple of my other mentors, Erik Daily and Pete Thomson. I owe a lot to those guys to for taking me under their wing and helping me through my experience as a young photojournalist. I owe a thankyou to Eric Wuennenberg for allowing me to be a second shooter and get my feet wet at my first wedding coverage in 2005. To also name a couple other influences on my life and photography career, Craig Dahmen and Tad Maddaugh (Owner of The Studio in La Crosse)
Last but not least, Bob Mulock. I spent a lot of time at what I call my second home, "Bob's Moen Photo" on Main street in La Crosse. Bob is one of the greatest mentors anyone could ever have. He has been so good to me as far as giving knowledge, advice, good deals on camera equipment, buying me lunch between classes from the Great Wall Chinese restaurant across the street, enjoying a can of Mountain Dew when I'd come down just for camera talk, and even some of his dry sense of humor when I bring in a nice photograph that I took for him to look at, and he says, "Ohh that's nice, who took that?" Thanks Bob you're the greatest!!
I currently live in Osage Beach Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks) May 1-October 31 and Phoenix Arizona Nov 1- April 30. I have an almost 11 year old black lab, Drake, who's with me 24/7. I specialize in weddings in the greater Phoenix Arizona, Minneapolis and La Crosse markets, midwest try-state areas, as well as Destination Weddings Worldwide 8+ countries. Please email for Destination weddings.