I am a lifetime photographer, preferring to use my camera as a personal means of expression for what I care about. I studied filmmaking at Chapman University and photography at Fullerton College, both in Orange County, California, where I live.
My current project is “Gladiator School,” a series of 10+ photo essays documenting life inside a notorious juvenile prison. In each episode, I interview and photograph an adult who was formerly incarcerated as a youth, detailing his story and exploring themes such as PTSD. Closed in 2010, Youth Training School (YTS) had a reputation for mayhem, violence, and murder that earned it the name Gladiator School. It was there that minors would harden themselves for survival, only to be returned to the streets — more troubled and volatile than when they arrived.
“Gladiator School” has had 50,000 viewers and was featured by the editorial staff at Medium.com. The series is curated by Pete Brook (PrisonPhotography.org and Wired Magazine art columnist). Annie Gilbertson of NPR radio called the series “Incredible…captures violence, lost boys and state shortcoming.” The series has been featured by the journal Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
For ten years, I’ve taught photography to kids living with Cancer through an organization called The Pablove Foundation. Weekly lessons take place at a child’s home, hospital bed, or in classrooms at distinguished art galleries. I teach photography as a one-to-one mentor and friend to the student, helping them to tell their Cancer story with a camera. My work was featured in an Emmy-winning documentary for KCET public television, which told the story of my relationship with a student named Parker, who later died of a brain tumor.
Some of my pictures have been sold here and there to stock libraries, and newspapers like the New York Post and Yahoo News; I won National Geographic’s Your Shot competition in 2010.