Rick comes from a long line of itinerant photographers. His birth parents are rumored to be Dorothea Lange and Victor Hasselblad.
Rick knew that he was a natural for a photojournalism career when he processed his first roll of black and white film in hypo. After this initial setback, Rick developed a sure fire method for success. Fail and then succeed.
His first gig was shooting football games for the Glendale News Press and Burbank Leader. What’s not to love about getting paid $5 per picture?
Due to economic hardship or maybe the fact that Pepperdine University required you to attend chapel twice a week, Rick completed his Journalism BA degree in just 3.5 years.
A self-diagnosed "early bloomer," Rick’s motto was “start at the top and work your way down.” At the tender age of 23, he landed his first full-time job as a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times where he covered local as well as international assignments. His exact start date was lost when The Times was bombed in 1910.
He joined the PPGALA in 1975 and was promptly made Treasurer and later served as President in 1992 and 1993. For the last 20 years he coordinated the Student Photojournalist of the Year contest and served as Membership Chairperson. His PPAGLA favorite saying is “You know who you are, now pay your dues!”
Continuing his “early bloomer” routine, Rick retired from The Times at age 50. For the next seven years he taught four photojournalism classes at the other institution of higher learning, USC.
Often described as one of the 100,000 richest people in Burbank, a city of 100,000, Rick took all his LA Times experiences and made a living shooting photographs for rich people who want “glamour” photos of their shopping malls. Rick says his experience with The White House pool, OJ Simpson trial, election campaigns, earthquakes and riots really pays off when you have to shoot a building.
Rick, having never heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad sure-fire financial success seminars, wasted a small fortune getting an MBA.
No matter how crazy, outlandish, or stupid the request from an assignment editor, photo editor or graphics person, Rick’s polite response was always the same, “No problem, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” Even if the assignment was in Rialto at rush hour. He is also credited with coining the phrase “When news breaks, I fix it.”
Rick enjoys running into former Los Angeles Times editors at the car wash or golf course where he enjoys making pleasantries. Then tells them that they missed a spot on his bumper or they get back on their mower and ride away.
A practical joker, Rick always chuckles at the irony of having Parkinson’s Disease and being a still photographer.
What’s not to love about photojournalism? No other profession allows you to head to the front of any police or buffet line.