From 2005 to 2009 I had the privilege of traveling as a musician and tour manager traveling and entertaining American troops stationed overseas. Over the course of that time I visited Iraq 7 times, Germany 15, times plus Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and several other countries. As I started to take more pictures and learn more about photography I became drawn to capturing moments as they happen. Nothing staged, nothing modeled, just life as it happens. Sometimes this can lead to strange yet beautiful places one would never expect to find.
The time I have spent in Iraq is perhaps the most memorable I have yet experienced. Not because of how beautiful or peaceful the country is... In fact Iraq is very hot, dry, sandy, and in truth a strange place. But the people and the stories, both from the Americans serving there and from the Iraqi people, have left such a lasting impression on me. Stories of survival, daring, willingness to risk everything and make sacrifices for what one believes in and for the brother or sister standing next to them in battle.
I will use this blog to present some of the images and stories from these and many other travels. I chose this image to start my blog with for several reasons. First, as long as I could point a camera, I wanted to capture lightning! I always had the weather photography calendar as a kid. Second, being a great photojournalist typically means sweating and being in far off places that are dangerous, hiking and traveling for hours to days just to capture a moment that your not even sure will happen. But you can feel the energy around you and you know if you can just hold out a little longer, the perfect moment will happen and you'll be there to capture it. This was the first time it paid off for me! I waited in a rain and sand storm (you could call it a mud storm) with my camera when everyone else had gone inside. And this is the image I captured as a result. It is one of the images I am the most proud of. I felt right then and there that this was something I was meant to do.
I hope you enjoy these images and stories. Remember, they might not all be happy stories, but they just might have an impact. Who knows, lightning could strike.