I was just barely twenty when I discovered Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation. Like many others at that age I was blown away and quickly began to consume as much of their writing as I could get my hands on. I was about halfway through The Dharma Bums when I became so moved by what I was reading that I put down the book and typed a letter to Allen Ginsberg asking if we could meet. It was not a novel idea but at the time I felt like I had to try. Like many people before me I had felt an uncontrollable urge to connect with someone that seemed to be speaking directly to my soul. A week later I missed a phone call from him but soon found a postcard in my mailbox with a proposed meeting date. Since that time I have from time to time reached out to individuals that have shaped my view of the world, either artistically, through music or poetry, or by expanding my understanding of the world and even of myself. As a photographer I sometimes think of myself as a collector, and ultimately these portraits are just another collection. A collection of people that influence me and who have each, in their own unique way, illuminated some dark corner of our collective conscious.