It was an inauspicious start.
The grizzled editor handed me a Canon AE-1 film camera with instructions to head across the street to the park to photograph squirrels.
With only one staff photographer at the small daily newspaper, reporters like me were expected to take some of their own photographs and the boss wanted to test my skills.
Little did I know the seemingly benign endeavor would be the start of a more than 25-year love affair with photography.
Though my work as a reporter continued for a few more years, the photography bug had bitten hard and it soon became my obsession. I convinced the editors that my time would be better spent producing images and they created a new staff photography position for me.
This led to photography jobs at two more newspapers, trips for foreign lands, encounters with presidents, the rich and famous and a front row seat to the Super Bowl, the Final Four and many of the best sporting events in the country.
I was lucky to pick up some nice awards along the way, including being a Pulitzer Prize finalist. I've also been published in many major newspapers, magazines and books. (You can see more details on our corporate/editorial site).
In 2001, I noticed a trend with many photojournalists bringing a fresh documentary approach to weddings. I decided to jump in to bring my own perspective to photographing weddings.
Another journey had begun.
Faith, love and family are what make our lives worth living. Weddings are about all of those things and it is my privilege to document the experience for you.
My wife Betsy has shared this trip and I'm so thankful for her and our two children.
I left the newspaper business for good in 2007 to concentrate on our wedding business and haven't looked back.
It sure beats photographing squirrels.