I grew up taking private art lessons, studying oil and acrylic painting. I started taking photographs primarily as reference for my paintings; but, in high school, began to explore photography as the final vehicle for my art. While I did not pursue an art degree, I did minor in photography. Two instructors had major influences on my work: Nicholas Hlobeczy and Barney Taxel. Both studied with Minor White and Nick also studied with Ansel Adams. Nick was head of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s photography department from 1967 - 1990. Barney is a successful Cleveland commercial and fine art photographer.
To me, art is intensely personal and I felt the need to keep art and my career separate. So, I pursued a career in advertising and graphic design and ended up abandoning my own art for 25 years. In 1997, I started Z-Med Marketing Services. However, in 2013, I realized how important artistic creation was to me; so, I moved from traditional office space into creative space at 78th Street Studios in the Gordon Square Arts District of Cleveland where I still operate Z-Med but can also pusue my art. In October 2014, I opened Gallery+, a group gallery where I am one of 5 artists represented.
I’ve always liked to explore the ordinary. Beauty exists all around us; we just need to be willing to see it. To create a truly strong image, I believe there needs to be relationship between the photographer and the subject. I have been observing many of my subjects for years. When I begin the process of capturing the image, I clear my mind and only focus on the subject. When I feel a moment of true connection, I click the shutter. I believe that this connection can be sensed by the viewer and if it’s missing that can be felt as well.