My Uncle Carl saw to it that my brother Matt and I would learn a thing or two about picture taking. Carl was an adjuster for Kemper Insurance, and used a Graflex press camera to document claim sites. My mother Lilian, on the other hand, was always at-the-ready with her 2-1/4 square-format Hasselblad. So, no surprise that I'd be soon captivated by the medium. Carl started us off with box cameras, moved on to Kodak Brownies, and at age nine a Minolta SRT-101 35mm single lens reflex. After that there was no turning back.
Mostly I shot family and friends, holiday get-togethers, and the annual two-week summer vacation out west.
Once I began high school, Carl stepped in again and set up a darkroom in our basement laundry room so I could learn to develop black and white film and use an enlarger to print. Two years later everything changed.
Photography and music. My two loves, going way back. When I turned 16 late in ‘68, a driver’s license freed me to attend Chicago’s best venues for the best bands of the day. Now with a Nikkormat and a 28mm lens over my shoulder and my friends pointing the way, we’d usually arrive at a venue in the middle of the first band's set. When that ended, the crowd would thin affording us a chance to push through to the front for the best possible view. I shot in black & white, sometimes with a flash, mostly without, then processed and printed the few good ones back in in my mother’s laundry room.
I am truly grateful for the chance to see and photograph all that amazing talent. And truly baffled as to why I did not always bring my camera to the many other shows I saw.
I studied graphic design and photography at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, from 1969 to 1973.