At times I am amazed that a photographer who used to shoot railroad cars ended up photographing food and jewelry!
Thirty-nine years ago, heavy industry was all around when I started this business in far western Pennsylvania. My family and I lived 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, in the heart of the nation’s industrial might. My clients were steel mills and billion-dollar manufacturers, companies like Trinity Inc, Werner Ladders, Lockley Manufacturing, Miner Rail, Rockwell Axle, and many more like them. I did, indeed, photograph railroad cars, trolleys, molten steel, and military hardware.
Over the late 1990s and early 2000s, the passage of NAFTA created the exodus of our region’s manufacturing to other nations to enhance corporate profits. Rather than leave photography — the work I love — I switched markets from industrial to small products and food. I downsized from a huge commercial studio to one more suited to the available work, and more in keeping with the change in required space. In addition, I changed work processes to a scale that didn’t involve a truckload of lighting gear to illuminate huge warehouses but is in keeping with smaller products; work that takes place on tables.
By 2010, however, the ripple effect of job loss and reduced income for those people who remained in my old region led me to look elsewhere to continue in my chosen field. The area in which I was located is now one of the most economically deprived in the entire state.
Fortunately, I had by now, gained substantial experience in photographing food and jewelry, and have always had experience in corporate headshots and executive portraiture. When the opportunity came to move to Frederick in late 2010, I took the risk, and here I remain. Food, jewelry, and corporate portraiture are the primary markets I now pursue, plus corporate events and small products like clothing or electronics.