Photographer (1988 - 2002)
While my path was not fully defined, the Mickey Mouse camera propelled me forward. In these years, I designed my high school yearbook, sold prints at local art fairs, and shadowed Hallmark photographers for a summer.
Combat Photographer (2002 - 2006)
My photography years culminated with my first significant role: Combat Photographer (25v). My time in the army designing and recording battle scenarios for deploying soldiers was the unlikely beginning to a UX career.
Web Designer + Developer (2006 - 2009)
While in the military, I started developing websites for local businesses. After being honorably discharged from the Army, I opened a photography and web design studio in my hometown.
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design (2009 - 2011)
My GI Bill allowed me to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree. While there, I learned to balance my designs with the purpose of the final deliverable. Looking back, much of my work connects physical and digital objects.
User Experience Designer (2011 - Present)
Web design provided me a fantastic transition to UX Design with the added benefit of knowing how to code the presentation layer. It took time, but I finally understood the purpose of user experience. It's not how pixel-perfect the design or mobile-friendly the solution. Of course, as designers, we strive for these results, but the design is only relevant in the context of the user. Research. Research. UX Research.