Can you tell us how your career in photography began?
I’ve had a very interesting career. After getting out of the Army, I returned to my home in LA and started work at the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Working in advertising for a couple of years, I became interested in news photography. I knew a few of the photogs at the paper and they were great in teaching me the ropes. After a few months and more pics getting published, the photo editor asked if I’d like to join the staff as a breaking news photog. It took me about 2 seconds to say YES and I was assigned as a breaking news photog and spent my whole career as such.
What was your first camera?
My first camera was a Pentax Spot-Matic and started shooting in my off hours. One morning going to work, I came across a huge fire at a hardware store on Sunset Bl. Grabbed a few shots. One of the photogs found out I had pictures and asked if they could use one….The shot ran on the front page of the paper, and I was hooked. I started using all the equipment the others used including all the Nikon “F” series models throughout my career and covered some of the most spectacular news events I could ever imagine. While some events were spectacular, some were heartbreaking, including the SLA shootout, some major structure, and many brush fires, including the Oakland Hills brush fire to name just a couple…
Can you tell us a little about your personal life?
I am married to my beautiful wife, Lexy and had two gorgeous children, my son Scott and my daughter Allison, who I delivered myself. I worked for close to 35 years for the paper and went through at least, 6 or 7 company cars. I retired in 1996 and, since then, have remained very active shooting breaking news, mostly fires. As a hobby I also chased thunderstorms in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
What pictures are you most proud of?
I would have to say it’s been the hundreds of thousands of pictures of all the fires in the SoCal area. Some of these fires stand out like the Universal Studios fire in 2009. Some small fires such as a garage in 60’s with a FF waiting for water. Some of my favorite were with FF’s showing some TLC to frightened kids. Many close calls like the FF in the late 90’s getting off the roof as it fell in. Others were the artsy shots like the five or six ladder pipes in a row at a fire. Or even the sun’s ray’s shining in after a major emergency at the Merv Griffin Studios in Hollywood. To this day, I still remember the large loom up heading toward a fire at the Fantasy Cookie Co in Sylmar. I especially remember the magnesium fire in 33’s where an explosion threw me against 33’s duels. So many incidents over the years. Thousands of fires; both structure and brush. And let’s not forget all the car accidents.