About Me

I have 5 children

These people are my most important contribution to the world. In the words of Alan Jackson “his greatest contribution were the ones he’ll leave behind”.

jonwithallkids
All the kids and I 2008

Therefore I engineer everything I do around what is best for my family. I have two priorities for their development.

  1. Helping them develop a lasting, high quality relationship and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ.
  2. Helping them to become self-sufficient as human beings operating in todays world, which is brutal.

As my children are my priority and most of my effort goes towards them, most of the images in this blog are my family and my dealings with these people. The other ones are my attempt to be a fine art photographer.

Becoming a father was easy

It only took a few minutes. Becoming a Dad though…I really struggled at first (the first 5 years) to get past my own selfish desires. Kids don’t let you give a piece of yourself, they demand it all or you’ll pay the price.

Through the process of invitations from my wife and her patience with me, I eventually “got it” and began to see the vision that she had always in her mind of a family that is close and happy. Life is better now, much better. Now I’d have several more children if Samantha, my wife, would go for that. She won’t.

I am also a photographer

I love photography. I go to photo fairs, read photo books (picture books my wife calls them) and think about it all the time.

I went to a fine photographic school called Brooks Institute of Photography from 1995 to 1998 where I learned the craft of film photography. Now Brooks is gone, you can learn what you need to know by trial and error, the internet and YouTube.

Portrait Photography

During my course work at Brooks I photographed everything: houses, babies, Tide detergent and landscapes. I agonized over what to do with my skill and talent as a photographer. That dilemma brought many philosophical questions in my mind and one of the most important ones became the question: “what am I photographing and why“.

One summer vacation I paid a visit to my wife’s Grandmother. She was a lovely woman living in the small farming town of Wendell, Idaho. At the time I was thinking about my career and tumbling ideas around in my head about what my photography meant and what it would be used for. On a wall as I passed from the living room to the kitchen I noticed the high school senior portraits of her 10 children nicely framed and organized in birth order. It struck me that these photographs are decades old but priceless to her and eventually to her children and grandchildren and so forth. My decision to pursue portraiture became clear at that moment.

Portraiture to me is more than a valuable record of our loved ones. It can and should be a beautiful and high quality record. I worked very hard at my portraiture for over 10 years. Then I lost everything.

2008 I owned a big, fancy studio in San Juan Capistrano California. The housing crisis hit my business very hard. We lost over 75% of our revenue in 2 months. I had to call it quits. I had just purchased the studio 2 years earlier and owed money to the bank and the original owners. Bankruptcy, shame and coming back to my hometown of Boise Idaho in 2009 was the result..

A new chapter

I stopped doing portraiture at that time. Too painful. My youngest brother (12 years younger) was just graduating college and thanks to the economic climate he couldn’t find a job.

We started a company; Page One Power. Now it’s the world leading SEO linkbuilding firm. I don’t even do the day to day anymore because I’m no good at that. That’s a different skill from starting a company. We needed someone else who could do it.

Now I help run the company at an arms length, work on other internet based projects. And I photograph. I spend as much time as possible shooting portfolios, researching and investigating the world of fine art photography hoping to get a break and exhibit, publish, speak and teach.

Life can be so amazing.

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