Generally About AJ
AJ is a transplant to Portland, Oregon. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Penn. and lived in South Carolina for a few years. He loves the outdoors and takes every opportunity he can to get outdoors and have an adventure. He loves getting out and putting the camera to work in new locations whenever he can.
He discovered photography in college, while he was still a in pre-med. As a general education credit, he took a black and white photography class and the associated lab. His father bought him an SLR camera for Christmas that year for the class, and so the adventure began. This class was the first time he set foot in a darkroom. AJ found the process (pun quasi-intended) of developing his own film and making prints to be the perfect balance of fulfilling and challenging. This class introduced him to his college photography mentor, led to his first photojournalism job, and started the ball rolling on this major passion for his life.
He worked his way through a large portion of undergrad and grad school working as a photojournalist and portrait photographer. He has covered just about every possible subject. His favorite assignment was the two seasons he spent working as league photographer for Pittsburgh's roller derby league. He claims many highlights in his career though, mentioning notably how grateful he was for the chance to help his best friend run the college newspaper when he was in grad school. He was also fortunate enough to spend a day in college showing acclaimed National Geographic Photographer Steve McCurry around his college for a day, and even got to do a portrait shoot of McCurry.
AJ has made the best of many opportunities he was given, mainly travel assignments. He has worked all over the US, destination weddings in Mexico, and even assignments in Nepal. He feels that travel photography is a great gig, combining all his favorite pass times, but he always tells people that the photos are no substitute for the experience of travel and the sensations of new cultures.
AJ Started practicing yoga at home in 2008. He couldn't sleep one night and was flipping mindlessly through the channels, when he came across a program called Namaste Yoga. Given his eye for photography, he was enthralled by the cinematography and after watching a few, he decided to try it. It would be years before he went to an actual studio, and even longer before he found what he considers his home studio in Portland.
In 2015, AJ completed his first 300 hour Yoga teacher training, and as of February 2017 is working on his 500 hour certification. You can find him teaching or practicing most nights.
Adventurer For Hire
AJ often gets asked about his tagline, "Photographer, Yoga Teacher, Adventurer for Hire." The adventurer for hire part always triggers questions. "What does that mean?" is usually it. When asked to clarify, he always just laughs. He says it is just his way of saying he's always ready for a new challenge. "adventurer for hire" can mean many things to many people, so I leave that as an open ended response. I want potential clients to think of innovative and new ways to put me to work. I hope that I never reach a point where there are no new adventures for me."