Recently I was asked by a University in Europe to answer some questions for a class project they were doing on photographers for an article they are writing. I have split the questions into 3 sections and will be displaying them on the blog and Facebook in the hopes that these answers can help anyone else who might have questions...hope you enjoy!!!

Part 1 of 3

1. What environmental factors do you consider to be helpful (or limiting) to your creative process?

The word environment can having many meanings but for the purpose of this question I will refer to the outdoor environment of nature. Being that I shoot outdoors so much I can't help but think of myself as an amateur meteorologist. I love clouds, either dark or bright, as they lend tremendous depth and contrast to the sky. The worst thing in the world for shooting is a sky without clouds...makes it very boring, bland, and stale. Lighting of course is the primary element for consideration for all photographers and choosing light during the "magic" hours near sunrise or sunset is optimal.

2. Please describe your state of mind when you are creating something.

When I'm in the middle of creating something I open my mind to all possibilities and try to not say, "No," to anything. If you were inside my mind during the creative process you would find it a place full of excitement and fun. I'm not the kind of artist that needs to go to a "dark place" to create. I truly love life and love portraying it's beauty. I'm not scared at all about not knowing what to do in a situation. I figure I just try something crazy until it works!

3. What are your reasons for sharing your work with others via the World Wide Web?

I share my work over the web for many reasons. First, it's the absolute best way to get your name out there so you can become a profitable business and make it a full time career. Secondly I love sharing beauty. The world can sometimes have so much darkness and cruelty to it, and I want to do my small part to balance the scales and show how amazing and beautiful it can be. Third, I realize that I have been extremely blessed to be able to travel the world and there are many people who can't. I love bringing my imagery to the world via the web and hope that it can in some small way help others to go there with me to that place if they aren't able to go there themselves.

4. Do you have to be in a certain mood in order to create?

I have to be happy. I've shot before when I'm upset and the images take on a decidedly different look. When I'm preoccupied with a problem it will inhibit my creativity because my mind isn't free. I've always been good at compartmentalizing so if I do have something going on I can usually find my "happy place" pretty quickly.

5. When you begin to create, do you have a finished product in your mind?

Yes. As I've shot more and gained more experience I've learned that having a finished product in mind is the clearest way to achieving your desired result. The hardest thing for me when I began was having the vision but lacking the know how to make it happen. As a creator that was extremely frustrating. In the middle of a shoot I am like a schizophrenic (constantly talking to myself) because I remind myself of my goal and what I'm trying to achieve. It seems to help me get there.

Part 2 and 3 of this interview will appear in the blog and on Facebook over the next two posts....