I have been photographing the world around me for 25 years. I first picked up a "real" camera when I was in college and looking for something to replace the engineering curriculum I had decided was not for me. I found myself in the Journalism department, and joined the school newspaper as a feature writer and photographer. While my writing prowess has taken me much further in my career, photography has always held my passion.
My very first published photograph outside of the school paper, was on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal and caused quite a controversy. In true journalistic style, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and managed to get a shot of a motorcyclist who had just been murdered in the street as paramedics worked to save his life. From a technical perspective, it was anything but perfect - the framing was off, the lighting was harsh - but it told a story, and that's what landed it on the front page. Naturally, family members and some of the public found the photo less than tasteful, and we got a lot of hate mail, and at least a couple of death threats. But I was hooked on the thrill of chasing down the story from then on.
After I graduated from college, I moved back to my hometown of Roswell, NM and worked as a feature writer, sports editor and photographer for the Roswell Daily Record. In January of 1990, I was assigned to spend a day with a performing group called Up with People. By the end of that day, as soon as my photos were printed and my story was written and we were going to press, if I could have hopped on the bus with that vibrant group of young people, I absolutely would have. Instead, it took me about seven more months before I would finally step on an Up with People tour bus as a cast member.
I left the Daily Record in July of 1990 and hit the road for the next four years as a performer and staff member of this incredible international performing group. As I traveled around the world, my passion for photography grew, while my desire to return to the grind of daily newspaper work waned. After one last adventure (driving to Alaska in the summer of 1994), I settled in Denver, CO and found myself in the call center operations business.
Over the next several years, I would grow in my career in the customer service and operations industry, as well as honing my skills as a photographer. I earned a PhD in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement, but have focused virtually every single spare minute I have to becoming a better photographer.
Today, the bulk of my photography is focused on my two young boys (James, 7 and Brodie, 6), both of whom have become quite the successful child models. We continue to do work for companies from all around the world, right out of our little home studio and locations here in Roswell. Google "#ballardboys" and you're sure to see much of our work. My wife Stephanie (Instagram: stphbllrd) is the boys' stylist and manager, and I don't think it's an overstatement to say that she is known around the world for her styling skills.
However, I do find time to work on some side projects and am available for family portraits, senior sessions, weddings, sports and just about anything else that requires a photographer's eye.