While growing up in a working class Italian neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, I thought that blur was normal – that is, until my parents took me to the optometrist to correct my nearsightedness. Still, I felt more comfortable in the blur than in the sharpness. It was like a soft, really good (but well-worn) security blanket.
A self-taught photographer, I suppressed my blurry memories by shooting photos with cameras with tack-sharp lenses sporting names such as Leitz, Nikkor and Zeiss. Then I saw his first toy camera photos. I was hooked. I picked up a Holga and, later on, a Diana clone called a Windsor that I affectionately named Princess Di.
I shoot almost exclusively with crappy cameras, medium format view cameras, and obscure (and not so obscure) film cameras modified with homemade crappy lenses culled from cheap loupes, crappy magnifying glasses, and battered enlarging lenses, bellows torn from old Polaroid cameras, used extension tubes, and gobs of black gaffers tape. I've been known to occasionally pick up a DLSR when the situation calls for it. I've fallen hard for alternative processes, especially wet plate collodion on glass plate. I hate perfection. I love flaws.
My work has been featured in publications such as B&W, SHOTS, and Light Leaks as well as appearing online in Fraction Magazine, BLUR, Flak Photo, and NPR's The Picture Show blog. I attended SUNY Buffalo for both my bachelor's degree (in English Literature) and master's (in Library Science). Yes, I was a librarian. To paraphrase the current Doctor, librarians, like bow ties, are cool.
I currently reside a few short blocks from the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in that toddlin' town called Chicago, Illinois in a century old rowhouse I share with my wife and son.