Leaning against a tree, foot sore from a long walk through fields and along fence rows, I rest, a shotgun cradled loosely in my arms. I have paused in a woodlot on the far side of my grandparents farm. Dad is 40 yards to my left working his way through the timber with our dog. The air is cold but the sun warms my face. It is quiet. I could take a nap right here. My mind begins to drift but something brings me back. Peeping and cooing noises slowly work into my consciousness along with the tick and scrape of leaves on the ground. The chaos of fall leaves, tree trunks and buck brush gives way to an orderly line of quail marching through the undercover in single file - bobbing their heads as they go. Less than 20 feet away the squad of bobwhites marches along, oblivious to my presence. It is the first time I have seen quail outside of a covey rise or my bird dogs mouth. I am witnessing something secret, a world hidden from human eyes. Nature is playing out before me as if I am not there, as if I am just another tree in the forest. I am excited, to say the least. At the time, I was only 12 years old but I knew right then that was how I wanted to experience nature. Eventually, I realized it was not enough to have the experience I must find a way to share it. In time, the camera became the tool I would use to share my appreciation and wonder of our natural world.
My professional photography career began in 2002. Natural history is my focus, specifically the nature of Kansas. My images should tell a story. The foreground, the subject and background should all come together as meaningful pieces of the whole. If an element of the photograph is not adding to the story it is detracting from it. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Early in my career I was out there capturing everything I could capture. I was accumulating images and then trying to find a story in what I had already photographed. Today my efforts are more focused. I am beginning the process with an ending in mind.