My interest in photography began during my sophomore year of high school. My curiosity quickly transformed into a passion for shooting photos. I began working in the darkroom whenever I could and learned how to process my own prints. My photography teacher believed in my abilities and encouraged me to enter many different competitions and shows across the nation. I was fortunate in that my photos earned several awards; one of my photos was even displayed in the United States Capitol Building for a year.

My senior year in high school is coming to a close, and I am just now in the process of submitting my last few college applications. My plan is to study photojournalism next Fall at one of the many universities with a strong program in the field. I never dreamed that, by now, I would have a clear career path, but Iím glad to say that photography is what I hope to do for the rest of my life. If a career does not come out of it, I know photography will always be a life-long passion for me.

Recently I have had the great fortune of photographing in Kenya and Guatemala. I have spent many weekends walking the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley photographing and documenting the lives of the homeless. I have an appointment to meet with the warden at San Quentin prison later this month for a personal tour- an opportunity to document another kind of story. Through my photographic journeys, Iíve developed a unique awareness of how large our world is, and how many stories need to be shared.

Sometimes I find that it can be extremely challenging to photograph people, especially homeless people, because they are reluctant to open up and share their stories with a complete stranger. The more often I photograph, however, the less I am considered an intruder, and instead just one of my subjects; this makes it easier to do what I love. When people view my photographs I want them to get a feel for the emotion that I was trying for when I took the photo.

These photographs were taken with professional black & white 35mm film and developed on gelatin paper, a Canon S5 Powershot Digital Camera, and a Nikon D300 digital SLR with 14-24mm wide-angle, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, and 200-400mm Nikon lenses. My photographs have been published by a variety of works including Shutterbug Magazine, Descry Magazine, and the Sonoma West Times.