If a picture is worth a thousand words, then my tenure at the Mercury is a novel of excitement and great joy.
I am guessing that I have taken more than 10,000 photographs for the newspaper, each time creating a solid connection with that individual. From fires in Aggieville, to the great flood of 1993 and the overall growth of Manhattan, I have documented a major transformation of our city.
The evolution was not merely related to Man-hattan but also the craft of photography. Back in the good old days, we used to develop film — yes… film, for those readers who are younger than 25. The process was slower and much stinkier, not to mention the toll it took on my wardrobe.
Fortunately, the digital era came about and I had to evolve with the times, learning how to edit photos on computer as opposed to in the darkroom.
Photography has never been a job to me because my passion and vocation happened to be the same. Each day I went out hunting down stories, trying to take the best photograph pos-sible. The awards were always a result of my work and not a goal. From state, regional and national accolades that I have garnered, The Mercury has always been a newspaper that has showcased outstanding art-work.
I was always surprised by the responses I would get from readers. Many people would tell me that they knew I took the photo before they ever read the byline; this was always a great compliment to my style and brand of photojournalism. I realized that many of my newspaper photos were taped to refrigerators and pinned to walls, evidence of the impact and emotion a photo can deliver.
The time has now come for me to devote my time and energy to my own photography business. I plan to continue making art, a passion that makes me — and others — happy.
It has been an extraordinary privilege to work at The Manhattan Mercury, which is built on teamwork and integrity. I am a firm believer in placing service above self and will continue to do this in my new endeavors.
I would like to thank the people of this community who let me get closer to the action because of their trust and confidence in me. I am grateful to the Seatons, Bill Felber and all of my colleagues through the years who have been on this adventure with me. It has been a pleasure and an honor to come into your homes and lives, if only by paper, and deliver the news.
Keep smiling and see you on the other side of the lens!