Usually, when someone asks me what drives me to make photos, I give them some canned cliché about ‘sharing my viewpoint with the world,’ or some such.

The fact is, it’s about balance. I’m blessed/cursed with a near-eidetic memory. I can’t re-read a page after casually flipping through a book, but it’s close. In my former life, as a national security analyst, I was known as ‘the walking Jane’s yearbook“and was later bestowed the honorary callsign "Google,” by the CG of the USAF Air Warfare Center (‘if you want to know the answer, ask “Google”’).

Unfortunately, it means that I can’t forget things I’ve seen, no matter how much I want to. The happy-go-lucky demeanor I sometimes affect, belies the fact that I’ve been witness to some truly awful things, in both my personal and professional lives.

I wouldn’t say it’s always a conscious effort, but my photography feels like an attempt to blot-out the awful, inhuman and sometimes downright evil images that claw their way out of the darkness when I close my eyes. I want to counterbalance the ugly with the beautiful, the inhumane with the tender, the hateful with the romantic; the mindlessness with the thought-provoking.

Some days require more effort to balance than others… the day that’s now coming to a close? It’s going to require something more beautiful, more creative, more loving than I’ve managed to muster for the past 34 years.