When I first contacted Don about his work I inquired about his archives. He’d posted a few older photographs that caught my interest and I was curious about the rest. What ensued from there was the beginning of a back and forth conversation about photography, life and how to balance the two.
Don had plenty of photographic ambition in his youth. He went to art school, built a darkroom and commenced pursuing his passion. But then a series of events forced some inner reflection, and he realized that he wasn’t interested in earning a living from photography. It wasn’t for him, so he changed gears, got a regular job, married and raised a family.
South Lyon, Michigan, US
It was also around this time that he met a mentor who lead him down the path of ‘straight photography.’ This was his “ah ha” moment, and he’s been on that path ever since. Through my conversations with Don, it became apparent that one important element of photography for him is the camaraderie with other photographers. The chatter and discussions about ideas, and the mysteries of photography.
And when he found the web, he found a new form of camaraderie which has re-invigorated his photography. He moved to digital and hasn’t missed a beat. I’m still curious about the archives, and Don has told me that he’ll slowly share more over time, as well as sharing his new work, the two seemingly flowing into each other, creating a singular archive.
Maybe this is all we’re really doing with our work, building archives in the hope that some photographer in the future will catch a glimpse, become curious and send off an email which will launch a new connection.
We’ve put together a slideshow that covers Don’s work over the years, which begins with a couple photographs from his parents archive. You can also view more of Don’s work on Flickr.