Marcus “Doc” Cravens grew up in a volatile home filled with drugs and abuse that forced him into the streets of Houston, Texas. Being shifted from family to family and finally being taken in and raised in a home for “troubled” boys, he began to search for and be a part of something larger than himself. After graduating in 1998 he traveled to over 10 countries as a missionary for 4 years before settling down in Alaska. There, he served as a firefighter and EMT, and after 9-11, he served as a Navy Corpsman in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After giving almost ten years of service and then searching for a new purpose and his identity, he began a journey into photography and visual storytelling. With the investments of photojournalist, Kelly Gorham and combat photographers, Dan Wise and Mike MacLeod, Doc developed the technical skills of capturing the lives around him while attending Montana State University. With their guidance and those skills to push him past the camera and into the connective bond between himself and his surroundings. That was when Doc realized his purpose as a photographic narrator. This can be seen in every image he creates. Those images have been described as complex and thought-provoking with strong contrast. Even with that said, his images seem to have captured the heart of his subject with a delicate approach that shows a simple truth.
Everyone has a story, and that story deserves to be told. Stories as complex as the impact of freshwater in the war-torn country of Cambodia and a small group with a simple plan to provide. Then there are stories that inspire a deeper conversation into the stewardship of land between ranchers and hunters in Montana.
As a veteran himself, there are stories that reflect his own personal story. Ones of stepping out from the hardships of his past and living in a world with the purpose of telling a greater story than just himself. Telling the stories of veteran issues and the fortitude to overcome the pain of the past. Some of those stories that can be seen in his work with Warriors and Quiet Waters. An organization that helps veterans and their families rekindle their love for the outdoors through fly fishing in Montana. Then there is the body of work that tells the stories of over 100 veterans, without one word spoken. American Veteran: A story without words is a simple, yet complex photographic essay using portraits and allowing the veteran’s eye tell their story. New stories are still being captured around the state of Montana.