As a young boy I could lose myself looking at the black & white photos in my parents photo album. I was transported - to the China of my parent's youth. There were the relatives riding in rickshaws through busy Shanghai and there were the dragon boats, pendants streaming, knifing through the water. There was my father posing jauntily at dockside with a camera around his neck, an old freighter looming behind him - to me the perfect image of adventure, travel and possibiities.
Perhaps it was only natural that I would develop a passion for photography and then for taking photos for the school newspaper. That led to studies at Syracuse University in photojournalism and photo illustration and later to landing one of the best jobs in journalism - staff photographer at The Seattle Times.
As a photojournalist, I would cover erupting volcanoes, earthquakes and riots and traveled on international shoots, but one of my most treasured assignments would be to document my parents’ journey back to the Chinese villages they had left so many decades before. It was the China I had seen in their albums. It was a sentimental journey, as affecting for me as it was for my parents.
Today my photographs appear on Getty Images and my Asian still life prints have been exhibited in Washington, DC, at the Seattle Center and at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle. Awards include prizes in the International Photography Awards, the Pictures of the Year Competition and I was Pulitzer Prize finalist in team news photography.
These days as the photography teacher at Lakeside School and as a freelance photographer, I recall with fondness that photo album and the journey that followed - they still inspire me and inform my work.