What does being a dad mean to you?
It’s the greatest reward I could have ever been given. I get so excited when I watch him learning as he listens to me talk about what I see on our hikes. Just the other day we drove past an Aspen grove and he goes, “Dad look at all those Aspen trees!” He can also identify different bird species, as a three-year old, I think that is fantastic.
How do you share the outdoors with your son?
From the age of three months, we were taking him hiking and later camping before he was one. We want our son to see how important our natural environment by seeing us enjoy being outdoors. Now that he’s older we go birding, fishing, and on longer hikes and camping trips almost every weekend. We also spend a lot of time during the week at the local wildlife refuges around the Denver area. I want him to have those early memories of sleeping outside and knowing the names of different animals.
What do you do when you get out and away from the office/lab/kitchen?
My favorite activity is backpacking, the ability to take everything I need with me and get to places that are less traveled. If it’s not a solo trip my wife and son come with me. We have been taking him backpacking on overnight trips since he was 6 months old.
What keeps you going?
Being able to share the outdoors with family by creating real experiences that last a lifetime.
Can you tell us a bit about your passions beyond “work”?
My number one passion right now is wildlife photography, specifically birds. There is a wildlife refuge near our house that has been a great place to refine my skills while also learning about birds which is brand new to me.
I also love to share the outdoors with my wife and three-year-old son. We spend about every weekend hiking, backpacking, and camping in primitive areas. We often head back into BLM property to find spots where no one else is around and spend the weekend exploring. There is no better feeling than staying somewhere for free and having a 360º of the Colorado mountains.
Do you find that these passions blend, merge, or complement your work?
I am lucky to have a creative 9-5 job where I can bring in some of those influences of nature and photography into my graphics design work. It is still sitting at a computer so I find that the time spent outdoors is really important and helps keep me fresh for my daily work.
What are your materials and how do you think about them?
I primarily shoot on a Canon T7 with a 70-300mm lens, I also have a Canon AE-1 that I use for film photography. It definitely takes a lot of time to perfect your craft and the only way to do it is through repetition. Since I shoot my camera in Manual mode and have a pretty entry-level setup I have to work a little harder to get the image I want. I am out shooting 4-5 times a week to get the practice of planning out my bird shots and thinking about where it’s going to fly so I can keep a steady track of it.
Do you have any “heroes’ to speak of? How are you inspired?
I am inspired by the unpredictability of nature and how the best moments happen when I’m least expecting them. Whether it’s forgetting something at the car and coming back to find a huge bull moose eating near the car. Or canoeing on a lake and having bald eagles hunt above you. Those moments inspire me to keep going outside to see what I’m missing out on.
Favorite artist currently?
I am obsessed with Mark Maggiori, his personal and painting style is from a time that was more simple. I found him on Instagram a year ago and just love everything about his personal style and painting style. I just purchased one of his prints for my wife’s birthday so we are really excited to get it hung up.
Most sublime moment in nature?
Last December I was at Arches NP and watched a full moon pass through a window arch and became an “eye” at its center point. No one else was around me and I felt like I was experiencing something special.