Photojournalism and Sports Photography

34 images Created 28 Sep 2023

My photographic career began in the 1980s when I joined the U.S. Navy on my 21st birthday after three years at Ohio University. The decision to serve was in part thanks to the influence of Chuck Scott, who at the time was visual communication director emeritus at O.U. Chuck had also been a U.S. Navy Photographer's Mate before becoming a photojournalist. After two enlistments, I was honorably discharged as a Photographer's Mate Second Class.

My first tour was with VA-113, an A-7 Corsair squadron out of NAS Lemoore, California. It was with the "Stingers" that I learned my first journalistic and public relations skills. Next, shore duty as the NAS Pensacola Photo Lab allowed me first and foremost to learn portrait photography from George Kings, another former Photographer's Mate, and the civilian in charge of the photo lab. While at NAS Pensacola, I photographed everything from grip and grins and officers' portraits to autopsies and Bob Hope shows. And it was a real pleasure being part of all the festivities that went hand-in-hand with the celebration of 75 years of Naval Aviation.

My final two years aboard the USS La Salle were action-packed in the Persian Gulf (1986-88), as Iran was at war with Iraq, and our U.S. Middle East Force was escorting oil tankers as part of Operation Earnest Will. The USS Stark was hit by an Iraqi missile, and I was involved in the documentation of this tragedy. Several months later, during the United States quasi-war with Iran, I documented the detainment of a crew of Iranian mariners from the Iran Ajr. They had been laying mines to prevent escort operations, and were captured by Navy Seals, and taken to the USS La Salle, where they were detained before being transferred to the International Red Crescent.

After six years, nine months, and 21 days in the USN, I headed back to Ohio University to complete my bachelor of arts education in visual communication. I then attained an internship at the Pharos-Tribune in Logansport, Ind., where I worked for five months as a photojournalist. My first full-time job as a photojournalist was with the Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Mich., where I was an editorial staffer from 1990-99.

My most important moment at the H-P came one month after starting work there when I met my wife, Jennifer on the sidelines of a high school sectional football game, which we were shooting for rival newspapers.

After leaving the Herald-Palladium, I worked a short stint at JohnsonRauhoff in Benton Harbor, Mich., where a team was put together to photograph and retouch the Walmart product line for their website. From 2000-2004, I worked as a part-time photojournalist and imaging technician at the South Bend Tribune while also branching off on my own.

From 2005 through 2015, I worked as a correspondent for the Elkhart Truth while continuing to pursue other photographic work.
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