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New work from Montana

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Aspiring photographers often ask me where they might go to find the best stories. My answer is always the same – get to know your own backyard, what’s close at hand, rather than traveling around the world just to capture images of something foreign or exotic.  My rationale is that if you can tell these stories of every day life and focus on what we have in common rather than the obvious differences, then you will succeed as a storyteller.

Ironically, I have rarely listened to my own advice and the past dozen years has seen me crisscross the globe playing witness to civil unrest, turmoil, and violence in over 85 countries.  I broke my pattern in 2010 when I moved to Montana and have tried to base myself in this beautiful but austere landscape.

The images I am now able to create tell the story about our deep connection to land, the importance we place in stewardship, and a vanishing way of life in the American West. The folks whom I have got to know are remarkable in their fortitude, work ethics, and the neighborliness they exhibit everyday.  It is not an easy story but one that requires patience and persistence to birth – and yet I believe it is as rewarding in the telling as the more sensational events I have had the opportunity to cover.

Check out this month’s Viewfinder in Orion magazine and the New Yorker lens blog to see some of my images from  home.

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