My wife Francis says that turning 40 hit me hard. She must be right, because before my 40th birthday, I came up with a list of 40 goals, most of which have some multiple of 40 or 4—40 haikus, 40 pushups, 40 pull ups in a row, etc. Earlier this year my interest in interpreting the world through photography was reignited when I travelled to India and Nepal with my dad. The new digital camera I brought with me had a range and quality that far surpassed the digital dinosaur I was using from 2004. The camera is just a tool though, and I rediscovered that the camera enhances my interactions with the world. Portraiture has always been exciting to me, and so as I made my list of 40 goals, I decided to make 40 portraits. The form and execution of this goal was not clear at the time. As I weighed different options, I was reminded of Richard Avendon’s In the American West, a body of work that strongly impacted me. I took this as a jumping off point for my series of portraits. My focus is on the important people that are regularly part of my life, from family and friends to coworkers and vendors. I’ve learned that while most people lead ordinary lives, if I scratch through the surface, I find huge efforts, heroic feats of overcoming, enduring suffering with great wells of strength, grace in the face of the day to day trials, deep love. It’s the ordinary heroic that I want to honor with these portraits.