Behind the Lens

The Background

A photographer, multimedia artist, and photo retoucher, I have been snapping photographs since 1991, while I began digitally manipulating images and designing computer art in 1998. My passion for photography started with a 35mm film camera, followed by APS film, and now digital (although I still use film occasionally for a creative challenge).

The Composition

With my interests expanding beyond art and photography into graphic design, video editing, writing, and computer technology, I pursued a degree to encompass all of these skills, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia from Lewis University. I also hold an Associate in Arts from Joliet Junior College and have completed all the classes for the Certificate of Digital Photography.

The Exposure

I have won over 150 awards and recognitions for my photographs and artwork throughout the past fifteen years, many of which were ribbons at county fairs. Additional honors include:

I have also sold several framed and matted prints of my fine art photography, with my top-grossing piece being The Heart of La Grange, which was also exhibited in Open Lens VIII at Gallery 7.

The Shot

If it would be accurate to say I moonlight as a photographer, then I daylight as a Photoshop Artist! I have been working in the digital imaging and photo finishing industry since 2008 at an actual brick-and-mortar photo shop, where I digitally retouch modern images, restore old damaged photographs, and graphically design internal advertisements and product packaging, as well as create designs for customer collages and photo gift items. Well-Rounded In addition to the photographic artwork and design, I routinely digital image all types of vintage film, perform photofinishing procedures in the photo lab, and convert analog audio and video to digital format. This position enables me to regularly handle types of negatives and films that the modern photographer has never seen nor heard of!

Additionally, I worked both on and off site with our sister camera store between 2009 and its closing in 2018, providing my photo restoration, graphic art, and Website design services.

My previous experience includes an administrative position, in which I was initially hired to build the company's first Website. I maintained and updated the Site through the business's lifetime, shooting all of the pictures and videos displayed on each page, as well as writing all of the information contained throughout the Website. One of my other main job duties was designing all of the marketing materials and creating the business signage.

In 2007, I started my freelance business Dusk til Dawn. My initial services included restoring old photographs, creatively manipulating images, designing graphics and business logos, producing photo montages for wedding couples, and building starter Websites for small companies. In 2012, I officially expanded into event and location photography, which prompted a name change.

The Developing

I initially worked as Photography-n-Art thru Brown Eye Green Eye for my contracted photography jobs, and then Painting with Dawn's Light for my personal photo projects, before merging both into Juxt Moments Before Dawn Photography, which was inspired by my before dawn til after sunrise time lapse series shot in cities throughout the world. It is also a reference to the medley of subjects I photograph, as viewed before my brown and green eye. Finally, the name reflects my focus of both creative composition – especially my style of juxtaposing different elements together – as well as editing images pixel perfectly. Remember that:

They are just Moments Before Dawn photographs & develops them into pixel perfect photographic memories

The Perfect Image

Having vast personal interests and a multitude of favorite subjects to shoot, my professional photography quickly expanded quite similarly. Like many photographers, I have been known to go to great lengths just to capture the unique image I envision.

I have shot photography:

For everyone from families with small children through older anniversary couples, to school districts and churches, as well as retail stores and professional businesses

At everywhere from as close as walking to a local village hall meeting and as far as flying for a destination wedding in Mexico

On everyday from newborn hospital photos to a formal 95th birthday reception, and a brand new building shining bright at its public debut to a dark dilapidated facility deserted 30 years ago

With everybody from an engaged couple posing for portraits against a backdrop under studio lighting to a toddler with his pig on-location at a farm, through a musician singing to his brother and mom during the mother/son dance at a wedding reception to farmers hard at work harvesting their field of crop

I have captured photographs:

From everyplace between underwater in the Caribbean photographing fish to high up in the sky taking aerial landscape shots out of a two-seat plane with no doors

Of everything as small as a macro flower pedal at a nature observatory to as large as a 180º stitched panoramic spanning across a room of over 50 people to capture every attendee in one image

In everyway from arranging menu items on a table at a local bar using location lighting to chasing a fast-paced alumni football game played under the stadium lights to a six-hour time lapse sequence with one minute brackets of snowfall covering a Chicago suburb

During everytime from sunrise time lapse sequences on a Jamaican beach and a pre-dawn venture to Medaryville, Indiana during the Sandhill cranes migration, through 1AM street photography in downtown Chicago and rural time exposures in the middle of a central Illinois cornfield at midnight

The Portfolio

Thus, my professional photography experience is very diverse and includes: