Sean originally went to college to study mechanical design. After a year, he realized that the was not the right path for him and he switched to studying Industrial Design and Architecture. This also proved to be the wrong path, which led to him making a portfolio of visual art, applying to art school and being accepted. He graduated with a Bachlor’s of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, which a degree in Painting and a minor in Sculpture.
He began presenting his painting at group shows in the Boston area and was commonly getting feedback that the work felt “cinematic” and “filmic”. This led to a period of time studying film and cinematography on his own, focusing on the films from Europe and Asia, directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ingmar Bergman, Wong Kar-Wai, Anh Hung Tran, and Edward Yang. Not wanting to return to school to formally study filmmaking, Sean began working as a film electrician, and eventually gaffer as well as consuming everything he could read about filmmaking and cinematography. Eventually this led to being offered to work as a director of photography.
In 2005, Sean was awarded the Seattle Filmmakers Award at the Seattle International Film Festival for his cinematography on the documentary, “The Gits”, and the narrative feature, “Police Beat”. Directed by Robinson Devor, "Police Beat" went on to become a festival and critical success. After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and winning numerous awards it was eventually acquired as part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2010, the Sundance Film Festival named “Police Beat” as one of the best indie films of the decade.
In 2007 “Zoo”, a highly stylized documentary, shot by Sean premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and internationally at Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. That year, Filmmaker Magazine named Sean as one of “25 Filmmakers to Watch” and “Zoo” was nominated for best cinematography at the Cinema Eye Documentary Awards. in 2010 , the Sundance Film Festival named “Zoo” as one of the best documentaries of the decade.
Sean has since photographed a multitude of films that have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto, Locarno and Cannes film festivals, including the documentaries POW WOW (Robinson Devor), HAPPY VALLEY and THE TILLMAN STORY (Amir Bar-Lev), RACING EXTINCTION (Louie Psihoyos), WE ARE X (Stephen Kijak), and narrative films LOVELY, STILL (Nik Fackler), MAGIC VALLEY (Jaffe Zinn), and AGAINST THE CURRENT (Peter Callahan). Sean has also served as the director of photography on Netflix episodic documentaries, including the FIVE CAME BACK (produced by Steven Spielberg, Scott Rudin and John Battsek), and MURDER MOUNTAIN (Produced by Jonathan and Simon Chinn, directed by Josh Zeman).
Sean lives, off grid, on a small farm in the Green Mountains of Vermont and travels for work both nationally and internationally.