The most common questions I hear these days are,

“what is this all for?”
“what’s the point?”

My response is always the same,
“I don’t know, It’s  just something I need to get out of me. ”

I guess that rarely answers people’s questions. They are always left wondering why there are half naked, bloody, girls running through their five star hotels or expensive photo studios! It especially didnt help explain to a girlfriend why she was sleeping next to a collage of dead baby photos leading up to a photoshoot I had done inspired by the frustration with our judicial system involving the Casey Anthony debacle.

It all started when my fascination for body piercing turned into the completion of an eight month apprenticeship under Levi Cornett and Joe Conti in my home town of Tempe, Arizona in 2001′. After a few years I met Frank Dicicco and Josh Rickets, just two local piercers i seemed to latch on to, and looked up to, not only for their skills with piercing but for how on fire and passionate about the work they were!  these guys are responsible for shaping me as a body piercer and the person i am today. I’ve worked at great studios (hot rod, urban art, diablo rojo) along the way to further my knowledge and experience in this industry, but never have I learned or been as on fire than the time I spent with those two.

Spending a couple years in Austin, working under jimmy buddah at diablo rojo was a great experience. In addition to a endless amount of knowledge,  I also picked up a love and respect for nicely crafted jewelry. As time passed I realized something was missing and I needed to be back in arizona. This was a turning point for me, I was either going to stop piercing, or I needed to push on and give it everything I had..and I’ve never been a quitter. The only thing I could think to do was look to the person that had inspired me years before Frank Dicicco, and put myself in his surroundings,  he at the time was working for Sean Dowdell at Club Tattoo, and made me feel more comfortable with my decision to walk in for a job after years of being intimidated, intimidated…? because I had looked up to the piercers they had in their crew over the years. People that had inspired me, and i tried to be like. This was a very humbling experience for me. I also knew that if I was going to make an impact on anyone, Sean Dowdell was the boss I needed behind me, and this is the team I’d be able to do it with. They had already done large scale corset photo shoots that are still being bitten to this day, by myself included!!

I started to work at club tattoo in Tempe along side Burni Ellis, he took me in eventually and pushed me to dig deep inside myself to find what i really wanted to present. He taught me creepy was ok.  My first professionally photographed project was a mouth corset, The idea, i admit sounded silly, but I knew it would photograph well, and It did. During a conversation Sean and i had about how everyone is guilty of talking about what they’re going to do, instead of acting on their ideas, i remember him saying that “completing a project, no matter the outcome,  makes you more successful and impressive than all the people talking about doing it”  After seeing my first photo project published in a magazine I realized that i was taking Sean’s innocent inspirational comment and turning it into a personal “fuck everyone, i’m going to do my thing” outlook on my work and life.

After that I think it really set in. I realized I could do something on a much larger scale.  I moved to las Vegas a year or two later. We had opened a Club tattoo in Planet Hollywood right on the strip, where advertising is everything!  One night I walked out on Las Vegas blvd, and saw a corset model that I pierced, on a 150′ jumbotron, with hundreds maybe thousands of people walking by, each one stopping for a moment, to glance up. For the first time I realized how powerful imagery could be. As great a  feeling it was to see my work on such a large display, I craved more. I wanted to push the limits and see what I could get away with.

As time blurred by, as it often does in Vegas, I started to think about different topics in my life. I wanted to merge my emotions and opinions on a subject matter, bringing them together to tell a story through my love of photography and visual media.

I work with things that inspire or captivate me. I use real blood for all of my photo shoots. Its eye catching and most people find it that much more unique. It takes more than just an idea to make a story come to life. The photographer, the people building the sets, makeup and hair artists, and most importantly the models, need to feel comfortable working with each other. Only then do I feel a project really comes to life.

I love working with new photographers and new piercers,  I think doing so pulls a little bit of emotion out of each person involved, and it throws it into the heart of the photograph. With no heart or love, I find no inspiration or release. Every project I do is because I need to do it. A waiste of money and time to others, to me it’s everything.

All I can hope is that people will see my work and start to think about things they wouldn’t have normally. Open a closed door of ones mind, or shine some reality into someone’s heart. Good or bad, I do not care. I think most people hold back their feelings and thoughts because they are afraid of what others may think. People might disagree,  it may start an argument or fight with a loved one. Free thinkers are becoming more and more uncommon. I want to bring up these sensitive subjects. I wanna throw them in people’s faces, sit back and see how people react when their true feelings come out!

I currently work in las Vegas at club tattoo with my best friend and ever so inspiring Tony Naggar.  Working on new projects everyday, learning its ok to stop and breathe every  once in a while yet always keeping my eyes up to catch the glimpse of beauty in our ever so dark and negative world.