It is always difficult writing about yourself in first person, particularly when it can be mistaken for self-praise. While I have been shooting for over 20 years on a professional level, only about 5 or 6 of those are heavily involved in shooting nature.
I have an intense love for the natural world and living in Florida allows me to indulge myself in one of the world's most diverse and rich natural environments. My photography has me standing, kneeling, crawling, and who knows what else in an effort to get the right angle on whatever natural scene might be playing out in front of me. I hate tripods and have learnt to rely on a steady hand and patience with my own short-comings in getting the shots that I want.
My work is primarily in Florida and I offer no excuses for that. I am fully aware that there is a whole world out there, but others can catalog that. There is more than enough to photograph here for the rest of my life (and then some).My studio is in Lakeland (for a different kind of photography) and this location in central Florida give me close striking distance to most of the state for any weekend trip.
Born and raised in Limerick, Ireland, I feel truly fortunate to have ended up my life living in Florida. I haven't really started to feel my age yet (b. 1957) and on days when I don't look in the mirror, I can convince myself I am still in my forties.
But it doesn't matter ... as long as I can walk, bend, and crawl, life is good.
By "person", I mean the inner me. The me that plays out inside my head; the one that fashions my dreams and goals, and my character.
I think I am a very empathetic and appreciative person and while not everyone would agree, I believe myself to be relatively humble. These characteristics play really well into seeking decent photographs in nature
Firstly, I refuse to see myself as any better than any creature that I am fortunate enough to shoot. I treat them all with the utmost respect and am often found trying to converse with them on a peer level (the first sign of madness).
Secondly, I truly appreciate everything and see beauty everywhere. From the humblest plant to the loftiest creature; they hold equal value to my lens.
And thirdly, as the circle of life plays out in front of me I understand the roles we all must play and how no being is above it. We all belong to nature, like it or not.
No man is an island and no man should want to be! I have been extremely fortunate that my passion for nature has been nurtured and supported all along the way by those who love me. The ability to share my work, and the joy that comes with it, reflects back from my team and gives me the energy and strength to keep going. Though I may walk the trails by myself, I am never alone.
The magnificent journey was initiated by them both, encouraged and appreciated with every word in a letter or image in a print. They have always made me feel like I can succeed at whatever I put my hand to and though they may not see my limitations, they have always seen what is in my heart.
Beyond death, they will continue to guide me.
Victoria has never shied away from a challenge and her excellence in all that she works towards challenges me to do the same. Her bright star has already out-risen those of us more mortal than she and her precious destiny makes me strive harder towards my own.
And with her little daughter, Erin, now waiting to see Frog or Possum pictures, the challenge on my aim is even higher. How could I fail either?
I don't know anyone who feels creatures and their spirits more than Morgan. She has been a possum-mom for years now and devoted herself to the rescue and care of these most lovable little creatures.
But her ability to empathise and seek safety even for creatures she doesn't particularly care for (she thinks birds are evil and have no soul) is a reminder to me to look beyond my own immediate determination of beauty and look for beauty everywhere.
It is easy to trivialize in thought the role of friends in our lives but I have been so furtunate to find in mine so many good friends that help light my way. Words of encouragement or responses of appreciation are worth their weight in gold when any of us embark on a quest that would otherwise be selfish and lonesome.
How could I possibly fail when so many good friends are there to carry me forward?