I became interested in photography as a teenager, but I did not share much of my work

beyond family and close friends. After returning to this area six years ago, I met a local

street photographer who let me follow him for a couple of years around Detroit.

I grew up in a rough area of the city, so I never had any fear of it, and would go

anywhere. I love the people I meet. I just walk around and let it flow. It’s part of me.

My shooting approach to photography through a 135-millimeter lens is very uncommon

but it gives me a different, edgy style.

Before I did the art thing I managed a hotel but had health issues. I’m a cancer survivor

who has been in recovery for 32 years. During my illness, I didn’t stop shooting or

curating. Doing the work kept me out of myself and away from self-pity.

I’m pretty passionate about what I do. If I am going to do the arts, I’m going to do

that—be all inclusive—do shows with people whose work I like, and who like mine.

The first show I curated was in Hamtramck. There were 17 artists who painted one of

my photos. It is interesting to hear how people verbalize and interpret your work. When

we put together the show “Growing Old in the Streets” 27 artists interpreted my photos

from Detroit. The most touching thing was when we presented this at the Three Cities

Art Club, and one woman who was crying asked, “What are we supposed to do now?”

in response to the images.

These kinds of responses to the work make me ask, “How can I inspire other people to

encourage open mindedness and compassion?”