Kodachrome may be gone, but the joy of photography continues to fire my soul. My father, of blessed memory, gave me my first camera when I was 11 years old, an Olympus Pen Half Frame, which shot 72 pictures per roll. Sometimes a year would elapse before I burned an entire roll. I remember sitting in a hotel in Palm Springs, California, during school vacation, while my father taught my sister and me the basics of photography. He had worked briefly as a commercial photographer in the 1960s and I still have much of his old, rugged Nikon equipment.
That was the extent of my formal education in professional photography until years later, when I attended the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. There, I entered a darkroom for the first time and a world of boundless creativity opened up before me. I was hooked. From then on, wherever I lived, I devised a small darkroom, setting up my equipment in bathrooms and closets and basement crannies, so I could get my fix of staring into a pool of developer under a dim red bulb, watching my art magically appear.
As I worked my way through several reporting and editing jobs, I found myself continually returning to professional photography to complement my writing. From 1992-1998, I owned and published the Jewish News of Western Massachusetts. I was also the paper’s chief photographer, tackling weekly assignments as well as coordinating our most ambitious photographic project, A Day in the Life of the Jewish Community, which the paper sponsored and published. In 1998, when I relocated with my family to Israel, I adopted photography as my primary profession.