A million moving pieces
Life as series of photographs

I learned early on that you can never take the same photograph twice. You can visit the same location, at the same time of day, to capture the stunning scene you glimpsed last Tuesday when you didn’t have your camera, or when you were late for work and didn’t have time to stop. But you can’t go back, because it’s never really the same. Each photograph – each moment – is a million moving pieces. The quality of the light. The shape of the clouds. The way the parked bicycle leans against the utility pole. You can try to go back, but the pieces have moved on. The details are different.

That insight – gained through failure and disappointment – only increased the pressure on me when I first started taking photographs. If every moment is unique and fleeting, I reasoned, I had to make sure I didn’t miss anything. There would be no second takes.

But I was soon freed by another realization. Each moment is not one photograph, but an infinite range of potential images. I may have come to a Maine lake determined to take a specific photo, and have gotten frustrated because the water wasn’t as still as I needed it to be or the sky was too cloudy. But as soon as I changed my perspective – zooming in on that piece of birch bark at my feet or exploring the abstract patterns in those clouds – the opportunities opened up. If life is uncompromisingly short, it is also unsparingly full of beauty and potential.

That may be why photography is — for me, at least — a celebration of life. When I’m out taking photographs, I am both completely alive and completely lost in the moment. It is a surprisingly spiritual experience. I’m not an actively religious person, but many of my photos have titles that evoke religious themes. They are, in many ways, about searching for beauty in everything that surrounds us. I am, of course, humbled when I’m alone with nature, capturing the perfect light on a secluded beach. But I am equally delighted when my camera finds beauty in unexpected places — in an abandoned Galveston movie theater that evokes the faded glory of a gilded past, or the children’s paintings on a mural in a disadvantaged part of town that exhort the world to find courage.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my photographs with you. They are all beautiful to me, and I hope you will like them and choose to make them a part of your life.