It's 6:00 AM, the alarm clock goes off, you press the
snooze button to get ten more minutes of precious
sleep. You cover your eyes, turn over twice, jab at a
couple pieces of hair, assume a fetal position so your
feet are once again in the sheets, and put your body
under the flannel sheets. After 2 minutes your eyes
finally close, your body becomes numb again, you're
half asleep. Eight minutes later the alarm lets out a
streaking ring. It stops once you punch the snooze
button. Your ten-pound eye lids open halfway and you
push the covers off just below your eyes. Sneaking
a weary peak at the clock, it's 6:12AM. The little
amount of sunlight which is shooting through a crack
in the shades seems blinding and is a cruel punishment
this early in the morning. The air in the room is cold
except under the flannel sheets. The wind is whipping
against the window, sarcastically saying, "I'm waiting
for you!" You stare at the ceiling tiles for a minute or
two and start counting to ten. Ten, nine,...........five,
four, at three the count gets sluggish; partly because
it's 6:15 AM and your mind is mush. Two, One, you
think to yourself here we go again. You throw yourself
out of the covers and in one motion your up from the bed,
grabbing a clean towel, and running across the
cold wood floor towards the shower.

The hot water is dripping down your half closed eyes and
it's tranquil again. Through the rising steam, the hundreds
of individual ceramic tiles on the side of the shower turn
into one as you begin to lose focus. Another chance to
get a moment of solitude before being thrown into the fire.
The streams of hot water shooting out of the shower head
becomes your best friend. It's too early to think, as
incomplete thoughts meander through the mind. But the
thought of being at work in an hour penetrates the dense
fog. The shower is over. If you wanted breakfast you
should have waken up a half hour earlier. After six months
of this, it isn't a bad morning, it's habitual.

The dictionary has several definitions for work, the first being;
something produced by mental effort or physical labor.
My first concept of work was a job or occupation.
I once believed that having a steady job was the secret to success
and being successful would naturally progress to happiness.
I associated success as working in an office with my name
printed across the door, wearing a suit everyday, having a secretary,
being called "Mr. Saviano", and making a lot of money.

My perception of work was disillusioned.
Success is doing something that will make you happy.
I can't imagine waking up every morning and not being
content. Realizing this didn't happen over night,
but slowly transpired over a long period of time.

I always wanted to be a photographer. Growing up I thought I
would be a bike messenger (a glorified mailman). I first picked
up a camera when I was 11. After school, I took photos of soccer
games. The photos weren't very good, often blurry, and without
the ball in them. But it was a good excuse not to do homework.
The neighborhood newspaper let me write articles on the games
and ran the photos. A couple of months later, I won a borough
sponsored photography contest with a photo of runners coming
over the Verrazano Bridge during the NY Marathon.
1st first prized netted me a disposable Kodak camera
and a free 5x7 enlargement.
So much fame at an early age.

Armed with my disposable camera I went to Morocco on a student
exchange program. In the medinas of Marrakesh and Fez I snapped
photos of snake charmers and merchants. I stumbled upon something
I enjoyed, taking photos of people without them knowing. When I
returned to NY I got adventurous. I took photos of the weird people
who inhabited Times Square. I stood outside peep shows and snapped
photos of people who came out. Always looking at the expressions
on their faces. Sometimes I would get chased. That's the reason why
I'm a fast runner. In school, I was taking candids for the yearbook. It
was a great excuse for me to be somewhere, not have to talk, but still
participate. I was very shy and hated to speak.

I went to college at American University. My friend Sherban, who was
also into photography, had a key to student newspaper. We used to
sneak into the darkroom and use their paper to print. He taught me
how to print B/W photos. It was magical to put a piece of paper into
chemicals and see an image appear. I was instantly hooked. I had
found a place where I could go and clear my mind of mindless teenage
angst. I spent hours printing snap shots of my friends procrastinating
in the dorms. While my friends were in college constructing their lives
and trying to find that special someone, I was dismantling myself trying
to find who I was. Photography became my outlet and the way I saw things.

Throughout college I was taking candid portraits and street photography.
I met many characters in Washington, DC. For years, I photographed a
woman who was on a 24 hour a day vigil in front of the White House
protesting nuclear weapons. She's been sitting there since 1980.
Considering I can't sit still for 30 seconds, I was amazed at how
someone could dedicate their entire life to a cause. I also started to
photograph friends who were musicians. They would take me to dive
Blues and Jazz bars. I brought my camera along and got in for free.
Good deal. Since that point I've been photographing musicians.

I started working for local publications. Politicians would give me cash
for photos of them making speeches and other people kissing their ass.
Wasn't a bad way to get cash. Around graduation, my first real job came
with an online publication called No one really knew what
an online publication was when it first started but they took a chance on
me. It was my first opportunity to do assignments. They lived with me
through the growing pains of a 21 year old kid trying to be a photographer.
I had a great time. When I wasn't taking photos, I was assisting an
architectural photographer. I was cleaning her darkroom when her
assistant didn't show up for work. She asked me if I could print and
did from that day on. She loved me because I worked 20 hours
straight, slept for an hour, worked another 20. Meanwhile, I was
living with 3 Chinese girls who I didn't know. Sleeping on a concrete
floor in the part of the house, which was a greenhouse. There was no
heat and in the winter and I slept with a ski hat on. I could see the
sunlight coming through the cracks between the walls and windows.
It was cool as long as I was taking photos. I caught a break that has
put me in the position I'm in today when I photographed a
Porno For Pyros concert for Green Peace in front of the White House.
I met two of members of the band and ate hot dogs with them after the
show. A week later they called and asked if I wanted to take photos
of their tour. I took a look at the girls I was living with, walked into
my cold room, looked at the concrete floor I was sleeping on, and
gave them my answer. The next day I was on a plane to LA with
just my cameras. For the next 2 years I zig zagged across the
country photographing bands like Jane's Addiction, Cure, Radiohead,
and Smashing Pumpkins for magazines and labels. I met some
of the most creative talent in the world. I grew up listening to
these bands and was interacting with them. Being on the road
with bands was everything that was advertised, but the aspect
I appreciated the most was the friendships and realization that
I had to work hard to be good at what I do.

After 2 years of concerts, I couldn't think of different ways to
photograph guy's playing guitar. I moved back to NY and landed
an assignment from Beggars Banquet to photograph Grasshopper.
It was my first editorial assignment. The hardest thing was finding
him. The record label finally tracked him down after a month. It was
great photographing him and I had found the type of portraits I wanted
to take. It was tough to get him to stand in front of my camera. We
made a deal, for every location we went to, we would have to grab
a drink in a bar. After a couple of hours in Chinatown we got our
photos. By the end of the shoot the camera was on autofocus to
make sure the photos weren't blurry. From that assignment I've
been taking portraits of musicians and haven't looked back.

In my free time I began shooting for a newspaper. Everyone was
much older. I covered some important events like Senator
McClain's Presidential campaign. I didn't last long at the paper
because of my commitment to photographing musicians and
I stumbled upon fashion photography. I was covering the fashion
shows at 7th on 6th and met 2 people who got me into fashion.
I met my friend Adriana on a van shuttling people back and
fourth from the venues. I accidentally stepped onto the wrong
van. When I noticed the van was full of beautiful 5'10" models,
I knew I wasn't where I was supposed to be. She asked me to
sit next to her and I said "I don't think I'm on the right van."
She said she wouldn't tell anyone and I made a friend. The
other person I meet was a designer named Roxi. She began
talking to me because I was the only one who looked 13 at
the shows. I don't think she believed I was photographer but
she was the first to give me an opportunity to shoot fashion.
We would run around the dirty streets of Chinatown with
beautiful models dressed in her clothes.

The photos I've taken are snap shots of where I've been in my life.
It's my journey. You can tell where I've been everyday, what I was
doing, and what I felt. I've tried to make my snap shots about the
person I'm photographing and not the photographer. Kind of a
suspended reality. With every image there's a chance to
start over and create something new.