Grand vistas, good music, family—these are a few things that inspire me.
When I hear the words inspire, or inspiration, I think of things that uplift. Uplift me mentally, and spiritually. It's always been at the forefront of why I photograph. The Apostle Paul (in Phillipians 4:8) summed up my goals:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The Thirteenth Article of Faith also expresses my aims of my photography:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
In an age where there's a lot of junk in the Art world, and not just the Art world, but the world in general, I got criticized a lot for being too traditional, or romanticizing the land too much. Back when I was in college, I let those criticisms get to me, and I felt insecure, and inadequate as a photographer. Since then, I've gotten over those feelings, and I no longer care that my photographs are too "romantic." All around us, we are bombarded with filth that desensitizes us. What was once considered immoral in years past is now celebrated and glorified. That is why I chose to photograph how I photograph.
I don't get out much to photograph any more. In fact, any photographs I do make coincide with my fishing outings, and the subject matter is pretty much all the same: rivers. Despite that I still endeavor to create photographs that inspire, and uplift, and to express my love and gratitude to God for the Earth He has given us.