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I think I’ve been a photographer most of my life. My Dad got me started when I was about six. He always had a camera with him (Rule #1) and, as the county 4-H agent, he was constantly taking photos, many of which he would submit to the local newspaper, to publicize 4-H events. He had two cameras, a 35mm Kodak Signet and a 4x5 Crown Graphic. He used one film for each – Kodak Tri-X for the 4x5 and Kodachrome 25 for the Signet. He knew those cameras and film combinations so well that in almost any lighting situation he knew almost exactly what the exposure values should be. As they say, he was “spot on” about 98% of the time. Of course, whenever we went on a family trip, the family “endured” while he stopped at every scenic location to take photos.
I bought my first camera before my teen years – a Kodak Brownie, and it wasn’t long before I started experimenting with filters. As I grew older, it seemed that whenever I joined a club or organization, I was always the “guy with the camera” and therefore the logical person to do the public relations. I already knew the editor at the local paper so I was reasonably successful.
After graduating from SUNY Cortland with a degree in psychology, my photography interests continued and in 1966 I became a volunteer assistant with a local wedding and portrait studio. I learned a lot. At that time most formal wedding photos were taken in the studio and candid wedding photography was just getting started. We used Speed Graphic 4x5 cameras and, in addition to the cameras carried a bag of flashbulbs and a box of film holders. After about two years with the studio, I branched off and went on my own albeit using smaller 2 ¼ cameras. I took courses from Monte Zucker, Rocky Gunn, Bill Stockwell, and several other nationally known wedding photographers to improve my trade. I photographed weddings for 40 years, retiring in 2006. I was a good fit because I could do wedding on the weekends while maintaining my career.
I received my Masters Degree in Social Work from Syracuse University in 1972 and took a position with the Syracuse Developmental Services Office with employment at the Cortland Co. Probation Department and March State Hospital in between. In about two years I became Director of Communications for the agency overseeing the public relations, press relations, internal communications and public education functions – maybe a strange fit for a MSW but my emphasis at SU was in Community Organization and Planning. I used my photography skills extensively and branched into video.
I retired from the DSO in 1996 and since have kept active with part-time positions at the Cortland City School District (Public Information Officer) and for a number of years as a volunteer flagger/photographer at Watkins Glen International Raceway where I either flagged for or and/or photographed some of the greatest names in racing.
Now it’s time to do what I enjoy doing – take art photos – or at least what I like to think of as art! Over the coming years I’ll be uploading photos onto this website, hoping that maybe some of them can be of interest to others. If you see anything you like, I hope you’ll consider a purchase, either for your own personal enjoyment or to show to others. Thanks for your support!