Your photos are always greatly lit with natural light, how do you go about capturing these photos?
I think that after a while, every photographer's vision matures. You start by taking photos of everything. That's how you learn what works and what doesn't. As a beginner, that means taking lots and lots and lots of bad photos. But you keep going, because you have taste and out of those 1000 photos, there might be one good one and you're determined to nail your next shot. Over time, you pick up on how to shoot for what your taste is. And that's where style comes from, I think. For me, it was about looking for deep texture and light. I get a lot of comments that my photos always feature dark, contrasting shadows. I also worked for a while in architecture, helping architects to design ways to bring really beautiful natural light into the interiors of spaces, and this probably shaped my style as well. I've spent a lot of time understanding what makes for good light.
You capture many house that to the average person look like just a regular ordinary house, but you seem to make them look special and unique, are you an architecture lover or do you see something else in them?
I'm always looking for unique characteristics. I call them house portraits and, just like human portraits, I think houses each have a sense of character. That's what I'm trying to capture. Sometimes it's the architecture, other times it's an odd lamp in the window, and sometimes it's the artifacts outside that tell the story of the people who might live there.
While looking through your gallery, one could see that you are a traveler, how do you like to capture these places? And have you taken away anything from a certain place or country that has affected your photography or views on things?
Traveling has been one of the biggest gifts to my photography. Being in a state of culture shock forces you to look at everything as though it is new. Mundane details like roof lines, street signs, and food all become new experiences to absorb. In that sense, travel enables this sense of hyperawareness that you otherwise would not have. In retrospect, spending time in China as a young photographer taught me a lot. Sometimes I find myself trying to get to that 'tourist' state of mind in familiar places, which is an interesting exercise in inducing curiosity and naivety.
In connection to the last question, out of the places you've ever been, which has been your favorite?
Definitely Italy. I have a lot of memories in Florence.
You shoot amazing portraits, street photography as well as landscapes through out your feed, but if you had to choose one to shoot for the rest of your life, which one would you go with?
Portraits. I am constantly amazed at the ability of a portrait to build empathy for other humans. Photographing people and documenting their stories is a great, great privilege.
That you could remember, what is the worst/nastiest thing you've ever eaten?
I once made a bad decision to eat at a bizarre Mexican restaurant in China. I ate something that didn't sit right, and was sick for about two weeks in the heat of Southern China. Yikes.
Interview by Kevin De Los Santos