In the fall of 2007 I was lucky to have a room mate who was working at a San Francisco Bay Area software company. Being very interested in software, I asked him if the company was hiring. They were not. One year later my old roommate told me they were hiring, and in the fall of 2008, I landed my first full time job in software.
In my sophomore year of college, I decided to take “Yearbook Photography” as one of my electives. I quickly fell in love with photography and became one of the primary photographers for college events. The college used Canon cameras, and while I used Nikon for a while as well, I still shoot with Canon today.
In early 2010, I decided to leave college and move back to the Atlanta area. I was lucky that my job was mostly remote, and as such, changing to 100% remote wasn’t very difficult.
Now that I was no longer in school, I decided to put my time into freelancing. I mostly worked for small businesses and honestly, wasn’t doing too well and ended up splitting my time working other jobs as well to make ends meet. After half a year, I decided to move back to the Bay Area due to a growing relationship with my then girlfriend. I drove over 2,600 miles (~4,200 km), breaking down in the middle of the desert on the way, and arriving five days later.
At this point I was hired to be a part time designer/developer while working in a QA role as a temp at Google and sales for another company in the Bay Area.
After my wedding in May of 2011, my wife and I moved to the Atlanta area. I thought I had a job lined up, with a backup in case something fell through, but due to the terrible economy neither position worked out.
I was now married, with no full time job, and my savings dwindling. A friend referred me to a designer, webmaster and photographer role at a local company. It was my first truly “corporate” job, and I learned a lot about how corporations run. I stayed for two and a half years before leaving for a smaller software company. It was at this software company that I learned the value of having a good mentor. At this point in my career, my growth began to skyrocket due to having an amazing mentor to help guide me.
A year after taking a “Lead Front End Developer” at a startup in Atlanta, my wife and I left our three kids with her mom, and went to Japan for our seventh wedding anniversary. I had always been interested in Japan – from their culture, how children are taught about responsibility and independence, along with being a long time fan of anime and manga – so after returning home, I began my job search in Tokyo.
I accepted a job offer from Rakuten in the fall of 2018 and moved my family to Tokyo in early 2019.
I am currently the Tech Lead of the Digital out of Home development team at Rakuten and am currently working with the founders on an early stage startup called Sporra.
I have not mentioned photography since the beginning, but it’s been a part of my life from the time I picked up that camera in class. I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV. Checkout the photos section of this site, or follow my instagram to see my photos.