I am amazed that a photographer who used to shoot railroad cars ended up photographing food and jewelry!
I started this business thirty-nine years ago, when heavy industry was all around us in far western Pennsylvania. My family and I lived 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, in the heart of the nation’s industrial might.
Steel and Items Made From Steel Were King!
I photographed for steel mills and billion-dollar manufacturers – companies like Trinity Rail Inc, Werner Ladders, Lockley Manufacturing, Miner Rail, Rockwell Axle, and many more like them. My subject matter was railroad cars, trolleys, molten steel, and military hardware.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s the passage of NAFTA created the exodus of our region’s manufacturing to other nations. This enhanced corporate profits at the expense of an entire region of the US. Rather than leave the work I love I switched markets from industrial to small products and food. I downsized from a huge commercial studio to one more in keeping with the change in required space. Additionally, I changed work processes to a scale that didn’t involve a truckload of lighting gear to illuminate huge warehouses. Changed to a flow in keeping with smaller products; work that takes place on tables.
Accordingly, by 2010 the ripple effect of job loss and reduced income for those who remained in my old region, I chose to look elsewhere to continue in my chosen field. As a result of NAFTA, the area in which I was located is now one of the most economically deprived in all of Pennsylvania.
Fortunately, I had by now, gained substantial experience in photographing food and jewelry. My work has always included corporate headshots and executive portraiture. Therefore, I was ready when the opportunity came to move to Frederick in late 2010. I took the risk, and here I remain. Now, food, jewelry, and corporate portraiture are the primary markets I pursue, plus corporate events and small products like clothing or electronics.