A Record of Meetings

I had very few friends growing up in Cleveland, OH. It could be that a quiet awkwardness kept me from making lasting connections, but it would be best to say that the slow pace of my thought process and lifestyle placed me in a different rhythm than my peers. Aware of this, I often tried to overcome this slowness by having much to say, even if I didn’t know what was being discussed. In the end this only made it harder to reach those around me, or for them to welcome me into their lives.

I moved to Columbus, OH in the beginning of 2015. With a clean slate and few connections, I had great hope for the new faces I would meet and the path my life could take. Fear of repeating old patterns was balanced through prayer and a strong faith that by the grace of God, things would be different this time. I didn’t know it at the time, but those prayers would be answered in ways I could never have expected or planned.

The three and a half years I lived in Columbus were marked by meetings with extraordinary people, many of whom have become lifelong friends. I now find myself richly blessed with these friendships, holding each closely and with the deepest appreciation. These friendships live on, but this season of my life came to an end when I moved across the country to live in Portland, OR. As I start over in a new city it seems fitting to honor those I met during this important time.

I began taking photographs around the same time I moved to Columbus, and learned more about the craft each year. Portraits felt like the best way to preserve the memory of these new friendships, but my technical skill early on made capturing those around me difficult. I am grateful that many of these friends also practiced photography, and this shared passion grounded much of the time we spent together. Through their support and advice, I learned a simple method of portraiture I began to put into practice.

The following photographs are meant to honor the people I met during this time. There are so many images I didn’t take, held back by my timidity or a lack of the right moment. I’ve learned looking back that often the only way to get the photograph you want is to make the right moment for yourself. Regardless of the ones that got away, the following images represent a small collection of the people I met during the past four years. I hope for opportunities to continue making these images in the years to come, both portraits of old friends I have yet to capture, and the people I will continue to meet in my lifetime. To those reading this who came into my life during the past four years, you mean more to me than I will ever be able to show you.

David Powers was the first person I met after moving. His kindness and openness have endeared him to many, and it was through David that I came to know many of my best friends.

David Powers was the first person I met after moving. His kindness and openness have endeared him to many, and it was through David that I came to know many of my best friends.

I didn’t realize the effect that Andrew Schwartz would have on my life when I first met him. Few understand me better, and the times we have shared have been marked by realizing we were not alone in a shared pursuit, or that the difficulties we thought we carried alone could be lightened if revealed. His friendship is a deep and true gift, and my words will never do it justice.

I didn’t realize the effect that Andrew Schwartz would have on my life when I first met him. Few understand me better, and the times we have shared have been marked by realizing we were not alone in a shared pursuit, or that the difficulties we thought we carried alone could be lightened if revealed. His friendship is a deep and true gift, and my words will never do it justice.

I have never met anyone like Keely Mckinley. Few care more deeply for the environment around them, in every sense of the word. Keely loves people with her whole heart, and her passion for the natural world flows out from this caring spirit. No one has shown me joy in a truer way. I worked with Keely on two separate occasions for different businesses. The second time was at Mission Coffee Co., and our talks during the closing process will always be special to me.

I have never met anyone like Keely Mckinley. Few care more deeply for the environment around them, in every sense of the word. Keely loves people with her whole heart, and her passion for the natural world flows out from this caring spirit. No one has shown me joy in a truer way. I worked with Keely on two separate occasions for different businesses. The second time was at Mission Coffee Co., and our talks during the closing process will always be special to me.

Rupert is honest, sincere and intentional. Our conversations provoked thought in a loving way that still encourage me. I wish we could have spent more time together, but every interaction we shared has become a precious experience.

Rupert is honest, sincere and intentional. Our conversations provoked thought in a loving way that still encourage me. I wish we could have spent more time together, but every interaction we shared has become a precious experience.

It’s difficult to put into words how grateful I am to know Ian West, but that’s not because there aren’t enough reasons. The times we worked together were marked by a commitment to the craft of coffee, a high standard for service and lots of laughter. On a deeper note, Ian is one of the hardest working people I know. He will fight for you regardless of the cost to himself and displays true compassion to those around him in need of a kind word.

It’s difficult to put into words how grateful I am to know Ian West, but that’s not because there aren’t enough reasons. The times we worked together were marked by a commitment to the craft of coffee, a high standard for service and lots of laughter. On a deeper note, Ian is one of the hardest working people I know. He will fight for you regardless of the cost to himself and displays true compassion to those around him in need of a kind word.

Caleb Herrmann’s mastery of meticulous craft is only outdone by his modesty regarding these skills. He is never afraid to question his surroundings or the belief structures of his peers, but in a way that is inquisitive and open. Working with Caleb at Mission lead to many conversations I now look back on with fondness.

Caleb Herrmann’s mastery of meticulous craft is only outdone by his modesty regarding these skills. He is never afraid to question his surroundings or the belief structures of his peers, but in a way that is inquisitive and open. Working with Caleb at Mission lead to many conversations I now look back on with fondness.

A regular at Mission Coffee Co., Joe Mullins encouraged me on many occasions, mostly by simply treating me as an equal. He is a man of confidence but in a way that is compassionate. I’ll never forget the time he saw me walking to work and gave me a ride, when many others would merely have driven on by.

A regular at Mission Coffee Co., Joe Mullins encouraged me on many occasions, mostly by simply treating me as an equal. He is a man of confidence but in a way that is compassionate. I’ll never forget the time he saw me walking to work and gave me a ride, when many others would merely have driven on by.

I didn’t get to know Steve as well as I would have liked, but he impressed me as a man of genuine kindness who loves his friends deeply. Steve cares more for those around him than most, and knows that gentleness is not weakness. By this standard, I believe he is one of the strongest people I know.

I didn’t get to know Steve as well as I would have liked, but he impressed me as a man of genuine kindness who loves his friends deeply. Steve cares more for those around him than most, and knows that gentleness is not weakness. By this standard, I believe he is one of the strongest people I know.

Clayton Fuller understands the importance of words. His friendship is a true gift not to be taken lightly, and my talks with him never failed to remind me of the truth. Clayton is one of the few people I know who still writes letters by hand, a practice which deeply encourages me. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Clayton as a client, college and friend, his kindness and intention are universal aspects of who he is.

Clayton Fuller understands the importance of words. His friendship is a true gift not to be taken lightly, and my talks with him never failed to remind me of the truth. Clayton is one of the few people I know who still writes letters by hand, a practice which deeply encourages me. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Clayton as a client, college and friend, his kindness and intention are universal aspects of who he is.

Caleb Slaton has the heart of a poet and the mind of a teacher. He questions the world around him, but accepts the people in his life regardless of their relationship to it. Caleb sees the world in a truly creative way and his approach to life’s questions always leave me thinking. I couldn’t be more honored to consider him a good friend. He inspires me to consider everything and never stop seeking the truth.

Caleb Slaton has the heart of a poet and the mind of a teacher. He questions the world around him, but accepts the people in his life regardless of their relationship to it. Caleb sees the world in a truly creative way and his approach to life’s questions always leave me thinking. I couldn’t be more honored to consider him a good friend. He inspires me to consider everything and never stop seeking the truth.

Paul is a professional at his craft, an incredibly hard worker and a loving father. I’ve seen him do the right thing even when it hurts and he inspires me to stand firm in my convictions. He would never ask you to do something he hasn’t already done himself, and his unseen devotion to his family and friends never went unnoticed.

Paul is a professional at his craft, an incredibly hard worker and a loving father. I’ve seen him do the right thing even when it hurts and he inspires me to stand firm in my convictions. He would never ask you to do something he hasn’t already done himself, and his unseen devotion to his family and friends never went unnoticed.

I wish I could have spent more time getting to know Kyle Williams. He reached out to me right before we moved, but in the times we did spend together he treated me as a friend despite how little we knew each other. There is a careful learnedness to Kyle’s demeanor, but he shares his thoughts freely and with graciousness.

I wish I could have spent more time getting to know Kyle Williams. He reached out to me right before we moved, but in the times we did spend together he treated me as a friend despite how little we knew each other. There is a careful learnedness to Kyle’s demeanor, but he shares his thoughts freely and with graciousness.

My brother, Alec. While we didn't meet in Columbus, his encouragement and friendship have remained a constant in my life since day one. This image was taken in our second apartment in Columbus, recording an intimate practice of my brothers few experience in person: music.

My brother, Alec. While we didn't meet in Columbus, his encouragement and friendship have remained a constant in my life since day one. This image was taken in our second apartment in Columbus, recording an intimate practice of my brothers few experience in person: music.

One of my best friends, Matthew Garsky has been encouraging me towards true faith since the first day we met. His passion for spiritual things, light-heartedness and adventurous heart have pushed me and blessed me many times over. Leaving Columbus was made that much harder knowing our times of joyful company would be rarer.

One of my best friends, Matthew Garsky has been encouraging me towards true faith since the first day we met. His passion for spiritual things, light-heartedness and adventurous heart have pushed me and blessed me many times over. Leaving Columbus was made that much harder knowing our times of joyful company would be rarer.

My friendship with Joshua Minnich is also marked by common pursuits and difficulties. Although we met near the end of my time in Ohio, our mutual appreciation for the antique past lead to many happy days searching for rare treasures. Josh moved to Portland with me and my brother, and now we also share the trials of starting over in a new place. His generosity, loyalty and courage are rare qualities that have blessed me many times over.

My friendship with Joshua Minnich is also marked by common pursuits and difficulties. Although we met near the end of my time in Ohio, our mutual appreciation for the antique past lead to many happy days searching for rare treasures. Josh moved to Portland with me and my brother, and now we also share the trials of starting over in a new place. His generosity, loyalty and courage are rare qualities that have blessed me many times over.

Matt Harvey has left a great mark on me despite the few times we have spent together. He is an innocent man who seeks God truthfully and with passion. His heart for serving has lead him to join the military and continue this practice on a greater scale. This image was taken the last time I saw him, before his first deployment.

Matt Harvey has left a great mark on me despite the few times we have spent together. He is an innocent man who seeks God truthfully and with passion. His heart for serving has lead him to join the military and continue this practice on a greater scale. This image was taken the last time I saw him, before his first deployment.

Cooper Davell has challenged my perception of reality in ways few others cared enough to do. Our shifts together at Mission blessed me greatly, and sharing music and stories always brings a smile to my face.

Cooper Davell has challenged my perception of reality in ways few others cared enough to do. Our shifts together at Mission blessed me greatly, and sharing music and stories always brings a smile to my face.

I don’t know many people that care more about their community than Luke Sislowski. Luke gives to the people that need him most, and is one of the best listeners. He understands that loving people is simple and just requires the choice to do so.

I don’t know many people that care more about their community than Luke Sislowski. Luke gives to the people that need him most, and is one of the best listeners. He understands that loving people is simple and just requires the choice to do so.

Mercedes Bann is a woman of life and kindness. She is the first one to lighten the mood with her laughter, and is genuinely sensitive to the needs of those around her.

Mercedes Bann is a woman of life and kindness. She is the first one to lighten the mood with her laughter, and is genuinely sensitive to the needs of those around her.

Jeff Stuckel gives his friendship freely, not foolishly. His views on faith and community challenged me, but he is also someone that knows how to make you feel heard and understood. He is intent in his creative disciplines and holds nothing back from his friends.

Jeff Stuckel gives his friendship freely, not foolishly. His views on faith and community challenged me, but he is also someone that knows how to make you feel heard and understood. He is intent in his creative disciplines and holds nothing back from his friends.

I met Jake Rank while on a visit to Dayton, OH. Jake treated me like a friend from the beginning, and I consider him a true brother. He shares a deep passion for his city, in a way that reveals his desire to give his best to his surroundings and see the good in his situation. I know that whoever Jake and his Wife Savannah live, they will sow richly into their surroundings and the people in their lives.

I met Jake Rank while on a visit to Dayton, OH. Jake treated me like a friend from the beginning, and I consider him a true brother. He shares a deep passion for his city, in a way that reveals his desire to give his best to his surroundings and see the good in his situation. I know that whoever Jake and his Wife Savannah live, they will sow richly into their surroundings and the people in their lives.

The reasons for which I am grateful for Brandon Goodyear are too many to count. He knows how important his friendship is to me, and how much the times we’ve had matter to me. A man of constant innovation and discipline, Brandon Goodyear is true craftsman. He is a man of his word and a true encourager. Brandon is always there to encourage and inspire you to do your best, and he makes a damn fine cup of coffee.

The reasons for which I am grateful for Brandon Goodyear are too many to count. He knows how important his friendship is to me, and how much the times we’ve had matter to me. A man of constant innovation and discipline, Brandon Goodyear is true craftsman. He is a man of his word and a true encourager. Brandon is always there to encourage and inspire you to do your best, and he makes a damn fine cup of coffee.

Ben Willis has challenged, provoked and inspired me more than anyone else I met in Columbus. He is aware of the world around him, both near and far. Ben treats everyone with respect regardless of where they have come from or where they are, and his work as a photographer helps remind me that every life is important. The few conversations we did have reminded me to be present, truthful and accountable for my actions. He has the heart of a protector and truly cares for the people in his life.

Ben Willis has challenged, provoked and inspired me more than anyone else I met in Columbus. He is aware of the world around him, both near and far. Ben treats everyone with respect regardless of where they have come from or where they are, and his work as a photographer helps remind me that every life is important. The few conversations we did have reminded me to be present, truthful and accountable for my actions. He has the heart of a protector and truly cares for the people in his life.

My gratitude and respect for Joe Cap can’t be put into words. His approach to loving coffee and people left a great mark on me. Joe taught me a lot about making coffee by hiring me at Mission Coffee Co.. Deeper than this, he taught me that knowledge is only as good as your kindness and generosity in sharing it with others. I will always be grateful for him and his example in my life.

My gratitude and respect for Joe Cap can’t be put into words. His approach to loving coffee and people left a great mark on me. Joe taught me a lot about making coffee by hiring me at Mission Coffee Co.. Deeper than this, he taught me that knowledge is only as good as your kindness and generosity in sharing it with others. I will always be grateful for him and his example in my life.

Just when I thought I had learned enough about working in coffee, Ndea joined the staff. Her genuine excitement and curiosity brought me so much life, and reminded me to never stop learning new things. She is a scholar and a student of the world, and has her eyes fully open to what is around her. She gives her friendship freely and deeply, and our many talks and shifts together mean a great deal to me.

Just when I thought I had learned enough about working in coffee, Ndea joined the staff. Her genuine excitement and curiosity brought me so much life, and reminded me to never stop learning new things. She is a scholar and a student of the world, and has her eyes fully open to what is around her. She gives her friendship freely and deeply, and our many talks and shifts together mean a great deal to me.

I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t admire, respect or love Peter Shankland. His intent in conversation, commitment to his craft and humility have made him someone I will always look up to. Peter is one of the kindest people I know, and his kindness comes from a deep care for those around him.

I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t admire, respect or love Peter Shankland. His intent in conversation, commitment to his craft and humility have made him someone I will always look up to. Peter is one of the kindest people I know, and his kindness comes from a deep care for those around him.

To the many faces not seen here, I give another thank you. I regret so many of the portraits I never took. Know that if our paths crossed, I am grateful for you and for your life. To those in Columbus, OH above and abroad, your friendship has meant more to me than I am able to show you and I hope we meet again. Until then, I’ll see you when I see you!

Upstate Michigan

     On the first cold weekend of November myself, my brother and two close friends left Midwestern Ohio for the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Our plan was to camp for several days, but our desire was to spend time together away from the routines we had all grown accustomed to. My close friend Paul was soon to become a father, and all of us felt a change on the horizon. With these thoughts on our minds we packed up our bags and set off. In search of rest and memories, we found much more. Michigan is astoundingly beautiful, and our time there was spent wandering the wide open spaces before us. Below are several photographs from that time, all taken on 35mm Ektar 100; and a small poem written during the trip. 

Lake like an ocean,

Wind like a wave,

Gentle force upon my face.

Out of film,

I waited,

We Walked.

Color deeper than color,

Reds and blues and greens.

Pause and listen,

You are with God,

Bethel, heaven upon earth.

We walked upon water,

As birds without flight.

Flowers pressed,

Against my chest,

To remember a time soon passing.

 

 

 

 

A Weekend in Detroit

     As summer ended and autumn began, myself and my brother took to Detroit to visit a very dear friend, Andrew. The days that followed were filled with a rest and fellowship that gave life to us. The following photographs were taken on 35mm Ilford HP5.

Washington on Expired Film

In March 2017, I experienced the beauty of the west coast for the first time. Born and raised in the Midwest, it was the first time I had witnessed mountains, or seen the pacific ocean. Myself and my brother stayed with our good friend Ben, who was kind enough to lend me three rolls of expired 35mm Fujicolor during our trip. The following imperfect photographs capture a time of wonder and awe I will never forget. Its hard to believe it was a year ago this month that we left.