When I was nine, my father’s job as a sales executive for Eastman Kodak Company took us from the bland suburbs of Rochester, New York to the heart of Mexico City. We lived behind a concrete wall with pieces of broken bottles embedded along the top to keep out intruders. The wall opposite our house was the back of a church and convent where in the basement could be found mummies propped upright on two sides of a narrow corridor. One mummified mother held a baby with vacant eyes.
On one of his business trips back to ‘the states,’ as we called our country of origin, my father bought me a cassette audio recorder, and I was enthralled by it’s ability to record the human voice. So began my enchantment with mechanical devices that mimic some semblance of the way the world looks and sounds.
In college, I discovered photography as a form of art, and spent many hours in the library perusing photography books by Walker Evans, Eugène Atget, André Kertész, and Robert Frank. When I teach photography, I show students these same great photography artists.
I came to New York City to take a job at a camera magazine called Camera Arts, and went on to work as a photography editor at many magazines and newspapers during what now looks like (although we didn’t know it at the time) the glory days of magazine publishing. I assigned photographers and edited and researched pictures for LIFE Magazine, Time and Fortune, Vanity Fair and the New York Times.
I adore teaching because it allows me to share my love of photography with young people who may not have discovered just how much fun it can be. What I teach is photography, but what I hope students learn includes confidence, an interest in creative self expression, collaboration and teamwork, the ability to articulate ideas, and digital media problem solving.
I’m grateful to now have the time to do my own photography, which these days includes writing and photography intertwined. My current projects include a book of reflections and photography called 20 Photographs, and a meditation on my Irish-American heritage in words and pictures.
Photography Teaching Artist:
I teach photography, documentary studies and digital media in New York City public schools for three organizations devoted to bringing arts programs to the schools: Marquis Studios, Brooklyn Arts Council and Magic Box Productions.
Selected Photography Editing Projects:
- Founding Picture Editor, My Generation Magazine, an award-winning 3.5 million circulation magazine for baby boomers.
- Photography Editor, The Century book and television series, produced for Peter Jennings at ABC News. The Century book was a New York Times bestseller for 56 weeks and sold more than 1.6 million copies.
- Photography Editor, Walter Bernard & Milton Glaser Design Studio, picture edited prototypes of new magazines for the Wall Street Journal and Time Warner Inc.
For a short biography or to obtain a résumé, please contact me for further information.