What was your first job?
"I never had a conventional job! The closest I came was an internship at Entertainment Weekly. I had my own cubicle in a nice office with nice people. It was all just… nice! But it taught me that cubicles were not my thing."
What do you love about photography as opposed to office life?
"I love that I get to meet all these characters through my work. They keep my world lively."
What do you love about working in New York?
"New York’s energy is really intense — people going hard, chasing their dreams. I like surrounding myself with people who love what they do and work hard to do it."
Did your parents support your career choice?
"My parents always pushed me to think BIG — but I’m the only artist in the family, so my plans scared them sometimes! They’d always suggest backup plans, which I shot down. Eventually, they realized that photography was something I wasn’t going to give up, and they learned to support it. They’re the best."
What advice do you have for people starting out in a creative profession?
"Be smart. Be aggressive. Be nice. School can only teach you so much; you have to learn as you go. Own your work and be proud of it! Make good art, and inspire others to do the same."
What's your creative mantra?
"Be you. Be true. Be real."