I've never thought of myself as a "nature photographer" -- that term brings to mind the Sierra Club calendars my mom always hung on the wall, image after image of perfectly exposed, perfectly sharp mountain landscapes -- but it always seemed very impersonal, a distant and idealized land -- maybe something like having a portrait of the president on your wall? I am more interested in a personal connection with the world around me, uncovering an intimacy of experience, and breaking down (false) divisions between natural and human -- attempting to see nature from the INSIDE, imagining and interacting with it, rather than simply admiring from afar.  

(polaroid of me by Cate Rachford)

I am a self-taught photographer, and while I still shoot digital occasionally, mostly I have returned to film, for its wonderful depth and quality of light. I shoot with a wide variety of cameras, including a beast of a Hasselblad, several polaroids, and my grandfather's Rolleiflex, among many others -- sometimes the self-imposed limitations of individual cameras produce the best results. I believe the camera can often show something that we cannot necessarily see with our eyes alone -- somehow it's revealing more layers or aspects of what a thing or a place truly IS, and our experience of it -- hence I enjoy exploring with multiple cameras/film types, as there's never just a single view to be "captured" or pinned down like a museum specimen. 

I was raised by biologist parents, and spent all my childhood summers at a high-altitude field station in Colorado, where there was no TV or telephone -- our primary activities for three months every year were hiking, reading, and playing in the river, surrounded by magnificent wilderness yet often finding artifacts of the area's silver mining past. These experiences have left their indelible mark: I first trained as a biologist, then switched to environmental history & policy -- again that sense of the human relationship with the natural... but photography is a way of making it more tangible.