Stuart was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. First in the Overbrook Park section of the city and later in the suburbs where his family moved when Stuart was in his mid-teens. Fortunately for Stuart, the row home he first lived in backed up to a 200 acre golf course where Stuart was continually exploring the outdoors. It was here that he developed a love of nature that has stayed with him ever since. Most of his summers during this time were spent at the Jersey shore where he became infatuated with Atlantic City and all its kitsch and tackiness.
After graduating from high school, Stuart enrolled in night school at Villanova University while operating a retail business in Philadelphia during the day. Two and a half years into this routine, Stuart realized this wasn’t the path for him so he closed his business, left school, and decided to travel alone across the US in his purple AMC Gremlin. During this time, Stuart developed his love for both photography and travelling. Enamored with all the sights he saw along his journeys he began to document them all - shooting mostly 35mm Ektachrome slides.
After three months of travel, Stuart returned home with tons of images (and a bit lonely as well) and decided to pursue a degree in photography. He enrolled at Franconia College, a very small liberal arts school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was here that he met his wife Lisa of 38 plus years. During the three years he was enrolled at Franconia, Stuart took advantage of their outreach program and spent a semester living in a seedy hotel in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles while studying photography at Cal State Fullerton. While in LA he also enrolled in a photography lecture series sponsored by UCLA where he was exposed to the work of many of the great contemporary photographers of his time. At this point, Stuart was exclusively shooting 35mm B&W film with his Nikon FM2 and he developed a photographic style that he later named “altered landscapes”.
After graduating from Franconia, Stuart returned to working in retail and he, Lisa, and her dog Bado rented a cape cod in northwestern New Jersey. They lived there for a few years until Lisa finished her studies at Farleigh Dickenson. During their time in North Jersey, Stuart and Lisa traveled whenever possible - visiting Florida, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod amongst other places. Once Lisa earned her BA in anthropology they moved to Pennsylvania where Stuart enrolled at Tyler School of Art, working towards his MBA. After one year of enrollment, Stuart left the school once he realized it wasn’t the right fit for him.
After leaving Tyler, Stuart opened a commercial photography studio in Philadelphia but was forced to shut it down after a couple of years due to a lack of revenue. At this point, Stuart took six months off and he and Lisa built the home they currently live in; it was here they raised two wonderful young ladies, Samantha and Corrine, as well as a couple of awesome retrievers. After the house was complete, Stuart worked a few varied jobs over the next few years while continuing to raise a family, travel, and take photos.
Eventually Stuart decided to get involved in the family business and he created SkinnyTies.com where he designs and sells skinny neckties via the internet. It was also during this time that Stuart became involved in the wedding photography business.
After being away from the fine art aspect of his photography for some time, Stuart has decided to return to his roots and rebuild his fine art portfolio. The Fine Art and Streetscapes galleries highlight selections of over 40 years of his work, incorporating both film and digital mediums and various format cameras.
The tools & the processes
The majority of the Fine Art images were captured with 35 mm cameras. However, I also shot with a medium format camera and for brief spell, an instamatic camera as well - which was part of a small format series I was working on at that time. The color images were shot on Kodak Ektachrome positive slide film and then scanned; whereas, the B&W images are a combination of scanned prints and scanned negatives. I started shooting on Kodak Tri-X and Plus-X films and then switched to Ilford HP4 and HP5 films as I found they gave me finer grained images with a better tonal range. The more recent images in the galleries are digital images shot with a Nikon D810 with either a 28-120mm lens or a 90-200mm lens. All digital images were shot in RAW format and then edited and converted to JPEGS. My first camera was a Minolta 35mm SLR with a 50mm lens. Then I transitioned to a Nikon FM2 body with a 35mm lens. I found the 35mm lens allowed me to capture a wider perspective which helped me better represent to the viewer exactly what I was seeing.
In many of these photos you might notice our Hungarian Viszla named Bado (my second favorite subject to photograph after Lisa). In some of the photos he is forefront, as seen standing in the field of flowers, and plowing through the snow. In other photos his presence might not be quite so obvious as you might find him tucked into the bottom of a frame as seen in the photo of me dressed up as Groucho Marx, or standing behind Lisa on the swing.