The journey of growth and learning is often inspired by individuals who share their wisdom and expertise. For me, it was the mentoring of a group of legends in the military - Chip Maurer, Johnny Bivera, Ken Hackman, Joe McNally, and Bobby McRill. As a young combat photojournalist in the Navy, I was engrossed in the aesthetics of photographs but their guidance opened my eyes to the integral role storytelling plays in capturing compelling images.
Every year, since 2007, I would participate in the DC Photo Shootoff, a platform that allowed me to be mentored by these maestros and enhance my skills as a photojournalist. This experience and knowledge proved invaluable as I progressed into advertising and marketing for renowned companies like Stila, Spiegel Catalog, and Macy's, among others. My passion for aesthetics merged with the art of storytelling, shaping me into a more versatile artist.
This transformation came full circle when I returned to the DC Shootoff, not as a student but as a mentor myself. I wanted to share the invaluable lessons I had learned, particularly in lighting and crafting narratives that both told a story and captivated with aesthetics. I took under my wing a few enthusiastic students eager to understand the intricacies of lighting and fashion photography.
We set the stage in a hotel room with a couple of delightful models. With nothing more than the basics and a spirit to improvise, we embarked on creating a fashion and beauty editorial. Each shot was taken with my trusty Nikon D800, tethered to Capture One, reflecting the blend of aesthetics and narrative I had cultivated over the years. The final result, I must say, was quite remarkable.
This project stands as a testament to the importance of mentorship in growth and learning. It embodies the essence of my journey as a photojournalist, from a young military recruit to a mentor, passionate about passing on the knowledge that shaped me. It is proof that aesthetics and storytelling can coexist beautifully, bringing life and emotion to each frame.

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