Animals and photography have always held a place in my life. I grew up in a large family amidst dogs and farm cats, a couple parakeets, and assorted gerbils and hamsters. My love of photography came from my dad who seemed to always have a camera in hand, a black lab at his side (invariably named Duke), and a pipe between his teeth. He even kept a darkroom in the basement. For me, that was a place filled with magic and wonder. I spent hours down there, not touching a thing, just watching my dad develop black and white photos. Outside, I would snap pictures of my own pets, the wildlife around me, and anything else that struck my fancy. Back then I used a simple and cheap 110 film camera. By the time I reached college I’d upgraded to a Minolta 35mm with several lenses. I still have that old Minolta, and have been known to blow the dust off of it every now and again and shoot a roll of film.

When not behind the camera, I’m still surrounded by a menagerie of animals including Australian Shepherds, two cats, a flock of sheep, a few hens, and the occasional steer or four. I actively train and trial my dogs, and help other folks train their stockdogs as well.

I started Rustic Photography because I love taking photos and spending time with animals of all species. Well, except snakes. Sorry. Maybe somebody can change my mind, but for right now… *shudder* And when the opportunity to combine two loves in your life presents itself — like dark chocolate and red wine, salted caramel whiskey and a glass, espresso beans and hot water — well, I say go for it!