We like to say that while some couples have a song, we have a collection of black and white infrared photographs. It’s delightful. We get all of the magic without the awkwardness of dancing.
It started simply enough. As a lark, we took a few rolls of infrared film and an old Pentax camera with us on one of our first dates. The results changed our lives. We tumbled down a rabbit hole into an infrared wonderland; and through our adventures there, we found our voice as a couple and as a couple of artists.
We came to our passion for infrared from different directions. Russell had been a professional photographer and gallery owner in Tallahassee for almost twenty years. At around the same time we started dating, he began making some professional changes. He was proud of his coastal and collegiate collection, but he wanted to do something different. To begin moving in a new direction, he sold his gallery; and rather than waiting for his muse in a corner bar, he took a teaching job and began to rediscover his medium through the eyes of his students.
As for me, I was exercising my passion for art by working as an art show organizer. I loved helping the artists who would come to Pensacola share their work with our community, but I must confess: I was itching for a way to unleash my own creativity.
Then, when Russell and I started dating, everything fell into place.
As we wandered along the Gulf coast with the camera, I learned a lot about photography and we learned a lot about each other. In fact, it's rather funny, but a lot of the questions that you ask at the beginning of a relationship are similar to the ones you ask when you’re embarking on a creative endeavor:
What are the most important things in your world?
What interests you?
What excites you?
What do you believe in with all your heart?
What are your dreams?
What would you sacrifice to make them come true?
What are we building here?
What makes this special?
Ultimately, we have created a collection of infrared photographs that embodies everything that inspires and excites us. We are using the pure radiance of infrared to create images that evoke the same feelings in viewers that we feel as we explore America, and we know we are succeeding because when people step into our booth they respond to our images the way we intended. They smile at our Bluegrass Beauties. They stand before our images of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Korean Monument in silence, or they open up about their experiences, their hopes and sometimes even their fears for our country. They share memories of their own travels or plans for trips yet to come. Using infrared film, we are giving people a new experience with their country: We are truly photographing America In The Best Light.
We feel very fortunate that our creative vision evolved and blended so harmoniously and that we’ve been able to parlay that into a life together and a collection that we believe is our life’s work.