Holiday family slideshows and looking through dozens of photo albums that my mother made first peaked my interest in photography because these images represented a heartfelt story to be cherished. But when a family friend gave me a used Mamiya 35mm DSLR film camera as a teen my fire was lit. I loved just looking at it and holding it, to me the camera itself was a work of art. It was all black with white lettering and I had no clue how to use it but when I took film into the lab for developing I could hardly wait to see the outcome.
I studied Business and Geology in college but also ended up working for the NAU Lumberjack newspaper because they gave me free film and developing in exchange for covering events like concerts. There was no instruction available, just trial and error as I waited with great anticipation to see my photos published each week with my photo credit next to it. This experience filled me with creative enthusiasm and pride and I even earned a few awards along the way.
During my career in the automotive industry, any time away was dedicated to travel photography, primarily shooting marine wildlife and underwater seascapes. When digital cameras came out I was an early adopter with the Nikon D100 with a Sea&Sea housing. Digital enabled me to get real time feedback to check focus and exposure which satisfied my need for instant gratification. My biggest challenge was to begin creating the artist within by previsualizating the story I wanted to tell with each composition and experimenting to cultivate my own creative voice.
When I sold my business in 2007 I started The Main Event Imaging LLC to shoot outdoor events like motorsports, concerts, and charity events. Natural History is my focus today with G. Russel Childress Nature Photography where I spend time in the wild diving underwater, kayaking, riding an ATV, in the air or on a 4WD expedition.