Being an old school pro in a digital world

I have been a professional photographer since 1977 but my involvement with the art form dates back to 1969 when photography became my hobby. My first real camera was a Hanimex Praktika Super TL. A German made instrument purchased from Two Guys department store in East Brunswick. After graduating high school in 1974, I attended Middlesex County College where I earned a degree in Professional Commercial Photography. It was a much different time back then. To become a pro, you actually needed to know something about the science of photography. I started out shooting real estate and weddings for a studio in Elizabeth N.J. After spending a year and a half there, I took a job at a large pharmaceutical company to work in their in-house photo studio. During my time there, I realized that I was not meant to work in a corporate environment. I bounced around a bit until I landed at Freese Camera in New Brunswick N.J. as their resident pro. It was there that I was able to make some initial connections to launch my free-lance career. 1989 is when I began that part of my professional career. In 1991, thanks to my work at the camera shop, I started free-lancing for Rutgers University Athletics. I have been involved with amateur athletics ever since.

My approach to photography is similar to sculptor. A sculptor looks at a piece of clay and knows that his/her sculpture is in there somewhere. When I shoot an athletic event or any event for that matter, I know my images are there, I just have to find them and capture the moment .

It's been a long and rewarding career and it is not over just yet. Since 1977, I have photographed babies, weddings, pro/amateur athletic events, all sorts of products and even the Dalei Lama. I have been honored to photograph several young people before they became famous.

I am driven by the specter of taking that one great photo. Perhaps I have taken it already, but I will continue to pursue this. As a pro, you should always strive to be better than you were yesterday. Professionals should never be satisfied. Satisfaction leads to complacency and complacency leads to...retirement.

I like to compare professionalism to bowling. In bowling it's all about the approach. The way you stand, the way you step up to the line and of course your release of the ball. If you do everything correctly you put yourself in the best position to knock down a lot of pins. However, once that ball leaves your hand, it's gonna do whatever it wants to do. That is what being a pro is all about. Put yourself in the best position for success and hope everything works out after that. Like that ball after it leaves your hand, you can't stress about the things beyond your control. Just make sure the things you control are done to the best of your ability