Over the years I have received many queries about me and my work. As part of the rollout of the newly revamped Dubland I thought I would spend some time answering questions, specifically the most common ones I get.
What drew you to the outdoors?
I grew up in a family that loved to camp and nurtured my love for the outdoors at a young age. It was strengthened even more with the many Boy Scout and church camp outings that filled my childhood. Also as a teenager I lived in a town in Southern California that had many wild areas that were easily accessible like the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Padres National Forest.
The outdoors for me became much more than marveling at wonders of the natural world, or crossing something off my bucket list. It became a place to unwind from the pressing demands of a busy life. A time to slow-down, simplify your life to think and pray without any distractions.
How long have you been photographing?
I got the photography bug when I graduated from college. I was looking for a creative outlet from my day job doing web development and video production that was immediate and in a similar medium.
Around the same time, I was also looking for a way to document my outdoor adventures and photography was the perfect means to combine my creative interests with my love of the outdoors. My photography work became more focused about nine years ago when I started to sell my prints for some side income.
Is photography your full-time profession?
I have worn so many hats professionally I am not used to being called strictly a photographer. I do get paid for some my photography, but most of my income comes from my web development and video production work.
Are you really at all the places when you post them online?
When you look at my social media feeds it may seem at times I am constantly traveling, but in reality I usually do only one, maybe two, big trips (four days or longer) a year, along with a handful of weekend trips to nearby locations (one to two-hour drives from my house). Quite a few of the other photos I post are from my backlist of trips in previous years that either fit the mood or season they are posted in.
What’s your favorite place from your past trips? Do you have a favorite national park?
I won’t go into great detail on this question because I feel this needs to be expanded into a full-fledged post, maybe multiple posts. For now, I will say I grew up frequently camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the summer and in the Mojave Desert in the winter and I continue to have a fondness for those places.
Are you related to Edward Weston?
I got this question more in college while I studied art. I am not directly related to Edward Weston, at least that I know of. My family hasn’t done any extensive genealogical work on Weston side of our family, so who knows, he might be a distant cousin.
Why is your site named Dubland?
It’s funny the questions I get regarding the name of my site: Is it a family name? Are you a fan of Dublin, or Ireland? No, it originated as a play on words stemming from my college nickname, Dub (Dub’s Land). Truth be told when I first launched this site 15 years ago (Has it really been that long?), I intended it to be a site to promote my freelance design and video work. Since there weren’t many places to share photos at the time, I added a photo component to the site. Over the years the site slowly morphed into the more photograph-centric site it is now. Only now with the revamp am I reintroducing the design work that used to be the primary purpose of the site.
I have a great deal on a canvas print at [insert name of the local Big Box Printer]. Will you give me the digital file to one your photos?
This question comes up frequently, usually near the holidays. Most people realize that I can’t just give away my photos, but I do get a fair share of customers who don’t understand the need to license a photo since they are just printing it one time. Yes, I will give you access to my photo after fair compensation and if you agree to the terms of how that photo will be used.
Did you always want to be a photographer?
Full confession: This one got bumped up to one of the top questions thanks to my six-year-old who asks me this nearly every day. As a kid my career aspirations varied greatly from being an engineer to law enforcement. When I started college I decided to take some art classes on the encouragement of my high school drawing teacher, and eventually settled on an art degree focusing on film and video. I entered the professional world at the height of the dot-com bubble and quickly learned web design and development while I also stayed active in the video production world as well.
What camera gear do you use?
Probably one of the most common questions photographers get, and one they least like answering. The implication is with the right gear anyone can take professional-level photos. The camera gear itself is just the tool, having the skill and knowledge to use that tool enables you make a great photo. I have seen photographers take spectacular images with 30-year-old toy cameras, so it’s not the gear that makes the photo. In fact, some of my most popular images were taken with $300 camera and a kit lens. All that being said here’s my current gear list:
- Canon 6D
- Canon EOS M
- Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8
- Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 (nifty-fifty)
- Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 (for night photography)
- Canon 22mm f/2.0 EF-M
The bulk of the images on my site were shot with my old Canon 300D and Canon 30D.
When I buy a print on the website is it coming from you or somewhere else?
For the last nine years I have been doing nearly all the printing and fulfillment of my photo orders with the exception of oversized or specialty prints. However, due to time constraints and a desire to streamline the process for all orders on my site, they will be printed and fulfilled by Bay Photo, one of the top printers in the industry and whom I have used and trusted for years.
Does that mean I am shutting down my Etsy shop?
I don’t have any plans to stop using Etsy, but the products listed on my shop will change some. I still have some ideas for handcrafted versions of my art that would really only fit in the Etsy platform.
I want to purchase one of your photos for a project I am working on. How do I do that?
I have been licensing my photos for about three years now, but this is the first time I have licensed them directly on my site. If you want to see the terms of the license, click here. For a custom license, you can send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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