1. What led you to discovering your passion?
The internet and blogging of the 90's. I used to mess around with Geocities, WYSIWYG HTML editors, and lots of crappy webpages. That led to web blogs, pictures, and eventually photographs. I picked up a really crappy Lomo 35mm camera and shot like half-a-dozen completely blurry rolls of film that led to scans at Costco and then my own online portfolio that I submitted to NYU as an 8.5x11 piece of paper with a URL on it (whoa). So basically all the stuff from the internet that constantly captures my attention is the same thing that brought me to still photography.
2. What is the craziest hurdle you've had to jump and what advice would you have given to past you?
Hmm. The craziest hurdle I had to overcome was probably taking the risk of of printing my first book (NB : Get yourself a copy! It's wonderful!) with no experience in business, art, or publishing. I didn't know what I was doing at all but I kind of didn't have any good options or handouts when it came to getting with a publisher or printer and I was super lucky to have a credit card and the support of friends and family to keep me on the path to making my book a reality.
For the second part of your question it's going to be a disappointing answer: I don't think I'm wise enough to give myself any advice to my old self. Sometimes I think about my younger self and admire how fearless I was then. Maybe he can give me some advice to his older self! But really, I think the more you're able to embrace the unknown and use it as strength instead of letting fear control you is the best advice I would try to instill for any past-present-future version of myself.
3. When you aren't focusing on your main hustle, what are you up to?
When I'm not shooting, I'm spending time with my amazing and beautiful girlfriend Adrienne, working on a podcast with a good friend Bernard Capulong — who runs a successful startup, Everyday Carry, about daily essentials you can carry with you all the time — and then working hard at my day job.
Generally I find the reality of hustling to be a lot less glamorous than what people make it out to be on the internet; it's a lot of responsibilities and not sleeping and working too late and trying to maintain a healthy balance of relationships, surviving adulthood, and creative ambitions.
4. What is your favorite place in your city (home town, current residence, or both)?
So far I love where I am in New York City. I think there are a lot of people who come here to find themselves or hustle and it's a good way to connect with like-minded artists. I do miss San Francisco, my hometown, a lot, though. I miss my family and spending time with them.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself figuring out how to publish my second book, continuing to work on meaningful projects, speak to the interests I have with my own identity, and somehow share that with the world in a way that best represents how I feel.