University of South Florida journalism student Ta'Rikah-Marie Jones interviewed me for her Research Methods in Mass Communication class. Her short interview appears below.
1. You graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art Design, have you always been interested in photography and journalism? Or did you ever consider going into another field?
I've been a journalist since college when I wrote for "The Other Voice," an alternative student news magazine at Trinity College. I was also an editor for the Trinity Review literary journal and my interest in writing continued into my work for Dow Jones Community Newsgroups when I joined the staff of the Nantucket Beacon after college. I transitioned into the visual side in 2003 and have been a working photographer since that time. Working as an independent visual professional and managing a small business are challenging and I've been tempted to switch to a more "normal" 9 to 5 career on many occasions but I couldn't be swayed.
2.What sparked your interest in archaeology?
I think most photographers who are successful long term are inherently very curious by nature and my interest in archaeology is a result of this curiosity. I was very fortunate to meet Dr. Travis Doering and Dr. Lori Collins at USF and we began partnering on projects about four years ago and the journey continues. They continually include me in their academic research and grant applications and we have several things in the works for 2013.
3. I looked at some of your work on your website, which is amazing, is there a specific photographer who inspires you?
I look at the work of a lot of photographers and am constantly scanning the magazine rack and web sites for the work of new imagemakers. Sam Abell and William Albert Allard of National Geographic as well as Alex Majoli, Alex Webb and Jonas Bendiksen from Magnum are all photographers who layer content and graphics in an exciting way. I continually study their catalog of work and keep up with their new and evolving projects.
4. Your biography on your website says that you specialize in travel, where have you traveled to so far? What was your favorite place to visit? Is there any country that is on your bucket list that you haven’t traveled to yet?
Travel is my passion as a photographer but it accounts for a very small percentage of my income as a visual professional. I don't market it as it as travel is not a healthy niche upon which to build a successful business. During my work for Scuba Diving magazine, my personal travel and my archaeology travels, I've been all over the world but there are many places on my bucket list. I've never been to Africa and I'm very interested in photographing in Russia and China.
5. What is the most rewarding part about your job as a photographer?
Meeting new people and having an opportunity to photograph them is always rewarding. It's also incredibly rewarding when editors respond positively to risks that you take on assignment. It's a thrill and a blessing to make my living telling stories with a camera and getting paid to see.