As a teenager in college my dad got me a job at the newspaper where he worked. I dreamed of being a rich psychologist some day, working in a big city, but for now, I needed to earn some beer money, so I worked on the press at the Sun Journal. The next summer, I worked in the composing room, and then, between my sophomore and junior year, I landed a job in the darkroom of the photo department. I had never had a camera, but I thought I could take better photos than what some of the photographers were taking. I borrowed an old Minolta that was kicking around and started shooting.
I discovered it was not as easy as I thought, but I soon found out that I had a good eye, anticipation, timing and a knack for putting myself in the right place at the right time. My photography skills began to develop and I became more exposed to the profession. A young photojournalist, Joe Simokaitis, took me under his wing and began to teach me the finer points of photography. I was a quick study and soon began to take better photos than some of the staff photographers.
I was lucky to be allowed to shoot some assignments and went out on my to some fires, accidents and other news events. I came back with images that must have impressed the bosses because when I came back during vacations, I was allowed to jump right in and take assignments.
As luck would have it, shortly after I graduated from Assumption College, and enrolling in grad school, the Sun Journal decided to begin publishing on Sunday, a new trend across the country. They needed another staff photographer and asked me if I would be interested. I figured I could always go back to school if it did not work out.
Thirty years later, I no longer am developing film, but editing video and dealing with pixels instead of film grain. Who would have thunk it. Follow my blog for the latest adventures of this small town Maine photojournalist and his exploits.