The best thing in my life was growing up on a farm called “Starvation Knob” in America’s Midwest. It was an untainted world, except for the news from small local newspapers, television (three channels) and world views from Life magazine. Smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-No-Where-Farm-Country, surrounded by small towns, cornfields, cattle, hogs and massive blue skies was a youthful way of life.
Sneaking into this edge of innocence was what the media brought into our living rooms every evening: the first flights into space; the assassinations of the Kennedys and King; live reports and images from the jungles of Vietnam; civil rights and peace protests. The images came and went as I set my sights on college and becoming a veterinarian.
Then two things happened to change my course in life. The first was an advanced and to me a bewildering course in Bio-Chemistry. The second was my sister talking me into enrolling in Photojournalism 101 because she said it would be fun, and FUN is a key word for any college student. The later took over my life. As a Photojournalist/Commercial Photographer, I am amazed at the people I’ve come to know, the events and places I’ve had access to, the experiences of a life time I would have never imagined. All because of one college course, a photojournalism instructor who believed in me and pushed my learning limits, and my own total emersion of mind and soul into a career made of passionate enthusiasm and drive
My career has been unorthodox and expansive in the subjects and events I have covered. I have photographed five sitting U.S. Presidents and First Ladies; major events like the Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500; and more importantly to me, photographing the average man and woman “on the street.” My camera has captured the joy of children in beginning ballet classes to major professional sporting events. It has also caught the darker side of our society, including peace protests, crime scenes, street gangs and racial hate groups.
Along the way I have won local, state, regional and national awards for my photojournalism as judged by my peers. While working for the largest group of metropolitan newspapers in the nation I was named Photographer of the Year for four of the first four years the award was given. My images have appeared in various types of publications and commercial outlets throughout the world, including on the cover of Life magazine. My professional memberships have included the Ohio News Photographers Association, National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Professional Photographers of America.
Through my camera I have seen a nation and world I never imagined possible as a farm kid back on Starvation Knob. What started as a fun course in college evolved into a FUN , exciting and amazing career as a photojournalist and commercial photographer.
And, the fun continues.