Facebook has been a great online social atmosphere for me to find old friends and make new ones. It’s where I met professional photographer Richard Gary, who works in editorial and advertising and currently has a fine art show at The Center for Photography at Woodstock.
How did you get started in photography – any “formal” training?
I started on my high school yearbook staff. The situations of shooting candid photos, and low light sports events gave me an early understanding of the camera’s capabilities. After I attended a College in Maryland I landed my first job as a printer in a museum. There I studied printing in depth. At that time, I also had master classes with Master printer George Tice. After a period of time I became supervisor of photography for the Mariners Museum in Va.
What cameras or techniques do you use?
Anything from 8×10 film to 35m digital. It usually depends on what the job calls ask, or what I feel like experimenting with at the time.
Who are your mentors (in photography)?
Mark Laita, Ilan Rubin, Gregory Heisler, have all been big parts of my early development when I assisted.
Have you experienced any setbacks or different treatment along your photography career that you would attribute to being a photographer of color? (this question is optional)
I’ve never had a issue being a photographer of color, but I would like to see more people of color in the advertising, and editorial world at all levels.
When did you realize you could make a living at photography? Describe your journey towards becoming a pro.
I’m still wondering if I can make a living as a photographer, but thats another story. After leaving Va,my wife and I moved to NY. I become a Black And White printer and an assistant. My printing background allowed me to get employment immediately. Many of the photographers that I printed for soon started me assisting. My goal was to learn as much about the business of photography as possible.
A few month later I became studio manager, an assistant for a well know photographer at the time. After about a year or so I started freelancing as an assistant a couple a days a week and sending my portfolio out as much as possible. After a while I was to the point I could stop assisting and just shoot. The first year was hard. I think I used same piece of foamcore for a year because of very little income.
I would borrow stands and printing services from my friends, and they borrowed from me for what I could give.
What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
I hope to always love what I do. To still get excited when I see the image materialize from just an idea. And to give back to future photographers the way photographers In my pass supported me.
What’s your dream photography project?
I would absolutely love to work with Fabian Barron on anything. I think he’s a genius.
What are you shooting now?
I just finished a shoot for BlackBook , and Zink magazine. And I am currently in a group show at The Woodstock Center of Photography.