I was born in Texas, but I grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. When I was growing up, I spent several years in a boys' school. I didn't like it there very much. Lots of the big kids would run around picking on the little kids. I was little. I began to hide in the school library because the big kids never went there.

After a while I began reading the books in the library. I loved to open up the big atlases and look at the maps of the world. I really enjoyed looking at pictures of people who lived far away, especially Eskimos. I wanted to run away and live with the Eskimos. Many years later, while writing the book Eskimo Boy for Scholastic, I finally got to live with an Eskimo family in Arctic Alaska.

My career as a photographer got off to a bit of a rocky start, however. I flunked my first photography class in tenth grade! I loved making pictures, but I didn't always follow the teacher's instructions.

At that point, I didn't think about photography as a career. I wanted to become either a forest ranger or a veterinarian. I started college as a biology major, then switched to journalism. In my work now, I use a camera to tell stories the way a reporter uses a pencil and a notepad. I live in Bangor, Maine, where I am the director of photography for the Bangor Daily News.

One of the things I like most about being a photographer is meeting many different people and visiting lots of different places. Besides living in Alaska, I also lived in Russia to write Russian Girl for Scholastic. When I'm not traveling to faraway places to take pictures, I like to spend time playing bluegrass guitar, kayaking, hiking, and cooking. I also have fun playing games like backgammon. And one of my favorite hobbies is visiting schools and talking to students about my work!