I’m a Chicago-based photographer, producing photo and video projects for national and international clients. I teach photo and video journalism at Columbia College, too.
In my personal work, I'm interested in examining how our surroundings shape our communities and individual experiences. In recent years, I've worked extensively in East Chicago, Indiana — once touted as the country’s “most industrialized municipality” — which offers a view of environmental injustices emerging throughout the Rust Belt. This work was recently honored with Cliff Edom's "New America Award."
When I can, I escape the city to document rural life in the open spaces of America in the Great Plains, which is where I’m from. Prairies of grass and ranchland stretch toward the horizon. You’ll find only about three or four people per square mile, and on certain roads, you can drive for a hundred miles without seeing another soul.
I spent the first five years of my career on staff at a newspaper in the Great Plains where I traveled extensively on documentary and portrait assignments. I also spent two months reporting daily during a military embed in Afghanistan. On the job, I learned how to earn people’s trust and document their lives with empathy.
My images and videos have appeared on PBS NewsHour, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Lens blog, TIME Magazine, Chicago magazine, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post, among others. National commercial clients include UPS and Glenmorangie. Recently, I participated in a national photo campaign for The New York Times T Brand Studio.
World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association have honored my work, and in 2014, I was named the Great Plains Photographer of the Year. In 2016, I participated in the New York Times Portfolio Review.
I've worked professionally in several countries outside of North America, including Afghanistan, India, Scotland and France.