• First recipient of the Master of Photography Degree in Jackson, Michigan
• First recipient of the Photographic Craftsman Degree in
• First holder of the combined degrees in Jackson, Michigan
• First PPA Certified Professional Photographer in Jackson,
• 3rd Runner up, "Studio Photography" Magazine Cover Contest
• Wrote several articles that were published in "The Professional
• Art Leather/Bride Magazine "National Wedding Photographer of the Year" award winner
• Collection of my photographs
on permanent display at the International Photography Hall
of Fame and Museum
• Court of Honor, Kentucky Professional Photographers
• Best Out of State Portrait, Pennsylvania Professional Photographers
• Michigan Professional Photographers Top Ten Photographer & 320
Club award winner (twice)
• LRP "Five Star Studio" Award winner
• Listed in the "Who's Who of Advertising"
• Presented photography
seminars and workshops at dozens of Local, State, Regional, and
National Conventions in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto
After seeing the photographs a friend of mine made with his Nikkormat, I borrowed $150 from my mother to purchase
my first real camera: a Canon FT SLR. My friend gave me me lessons...until my photographs started looking better than his! I went
to Europe my senior year in high school and made about 2000 images. Some of these images were published, and I won several awards
at the local county fair.
I did some little jobs for money here and there--nothing serious--until a school friend of mine asked me
to photograph her wedding. Even though I told her I knew nothing about wedding photography (I had only been to one wedding in my life)
she said she couldn't afford much and if the pictures were as nice as my European images, she would be satisfied. My friend with the
Nikkormat had been taking a correspondence course on photography and said he would loan me his lessons. They were woefully outdated,
but they gave me a basic understanding. I borrowed a lens from one friend, a Kako SuperElite strobe from another, and two weeks before
I turned 19 I photographed my first wedding. She was ecstatic with the pictures, and things just snowballed from there. I started
doing portraits in my parents' living room until I married in 1973. I worked a job and ran my photography business from home.
to have a "professional" store front studio, I accepted another local photographer's offer in 1977 to enter into a partnership...let
me just say that I do NOT recommend it, and leave it at that. In 1979 I made an offer to open a studio in a department store that
was accepted. At the last minute my partner backed out. It caused some friction when I told him I was going forward. It turned out
to be a very wise decision on my part, as our partnership ended at the end of 1980.
This studio space was small, but my wife
Joyce and I built it into a good business, but it was our long friendship with our friend and mentor the late Lisle Ramsey that catapulted
us to owning a very successful business. We bought into another local studio and then opened a second studio in Adrian,
Michigan in 1985. We advertised heavily and the studio was profitable after just 9 months! We had to quickly find a new location in
1987 for our Jackson, Michigan studio as the department store was closing with very little notice! Again, we advertised heavily
and the business ran seamlessly, even with the move.
During this time, my advertising and promotional techniques were drawing
the attention of a couple of color labs, and my name was mentioned as a good person to learn business from. I started to receive offers
from photography groups to hold seminars and workshops and speak at conventions. I also started to work on my Master of Photography
Degree from the PPA. After my father suffered a stroke I closed my studio location, sold my house, and bought a home on 2½ acres in
the village of Spring Arbor, Michigan. The home had two addresses and two driveways so the business and living areas were totally
separate. This way my wife, daughter and I could care for my parents, which we did until their deaths in 1999.
I decided to retire
from full-time photography in 2006 to concentrate on writing and sales training.