Hello, my name is Ira. Thanks for visiting. I’m a photographer and documentary filmmaker. I think I was born into it. My name literally means, “Watchful and observant”. When I was a kid I used to get earaches so my mom and I would stay up really late watching old black and white movies and I think that’s why I still see the world that way. My father was a photographer and camera repair technician. I took apart my first camera when I was five. I spent my early childhood in Los Angeles and I go back there to visit and work as often as possible.
I try to live my life like I am camping everyday. A hot mug of tea or cup of coffee next to a fire is all I need to be happy. I used to climb mountains and before that I was a amateur boxer. I learned how far I can push myself and I learned to love and respect the people, places, and life challenges that we all face.
I have a plaque sitting on my piano that says, “We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” It describes my life’s work. I appreciate the writings of Bukowski, Hemmingway and Steinbeck, but lately I am drawn to Robert Frost and W.S. Merwin. Occasionally I try to write a haiku. My photography is an attempt at poetic realism.
I love adventures. My favorite trip recently was a 3500 mile road trip in an old 1998 BMW convertible. Listening to Miles Davis’s sketches in Spain in the middle of Oregon late at night with the Milky Way visible over my head was profound. Sharing a sunset on Pismo beach with hundreds of people who just stopped what they were doing to look westward was sacred. I love the way these moments help to create an awareness of how connected we all are.
Last year I took up motorcycle riding. I bought a KLR 650 and have it equipped to haul my camera and camping gear. I’ve been exploring the Palouse farm country and old logging roads with it. Seeing Chinese pheasants in a field of wheat and racing ahead of a lightning storm is exhilarating. It made for a good story about why I took so long going to the grocery store.
I live in a rural area that’s less than 10 minutes away from downtown Spokane. Our little acre sits on the inflection point between urban and industrial and is part of a narrow green zone that provides a migratory path for Moose moving down from the mountains towards the wetlands southwest of here. Last year I counted 26 species of birds hanging out in my yard. I live there with my life partner Sarah and our border collie named Murdoch. I am blessed.
I spend a lot of time traveling and I like to write. I also teach classes at a local community college and private workshops at my home studio and online.
My latest adventure has been joining an artist collective and setting up a new studio in a historic hotel building next to a live music venue and bar. It is a very bohemian environment with a variety of painters, photographers, and sculptors. I’m sharing a space with an installation artist and a couple of painters. I think it will be a good place to collaborate and create. I will keep you posted. In the meantime if you have a good story idea and need someone to photograph and write about it, call me. I would love to work with you.