Growing up my grandfather Marlin Perkins was a strong influence in my life. He hosted the TV show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and was director of the St. Louis Zoo. He would hand down his old cameras, encouraged my photography and took me with him on location to places like Tanzania, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Of all the things he told me, two really stand out: "Always hold a snake by the business end" and "Do what you love!"
Rhode Island School of Design
Bachelor of Fine Arts—Photography
Being a design school, RISD exposed me to a wide variety of art and creative disciplines. Though I was a photography student, I had many friends studying in other departments—graphic design, industrial design, ceramics and glass. I loved hanging out in the glass shop watching and photographing works being produced by my friends and on occasion by well known glass artists, such as Dale Chihuly. In the photography department, professor Paul Krot was an inspiration. He was the founder of the Sprint Chemical Corporation. As his student and teaching assistant, I fondly remember his humor, wit and wisdom. His in-class demonstrations were always interesting and exciting. During a seminar on color theory, as an example of color temperature, he heated a tungsten rod with a blowtorch until it glowed like a lightbulb!
An artist and educator, my mother was responsible for my early exposure to art, art history and design. We went to many museums, to art gallery openings and various exhibitions. From her example as a working artist I learned about the creative process. Her paintings explore color, light and visual perception in abstract compositions. Her work has influenced my interest in color relationships in photographs, which I continue to explore today.