When I was twelve, the father of a close friend was a professional photographer. He taught me how to develop my first rolls of film. I had a strange relationship with him -- he was very different than my own father. My family was Ozzie and Harriet. The Drells appeared normal but something was different. They got the album HAIR when it was first released! They talked about the world in a different way than my family and all the other neighbors. It's too bad I was too young to understand. Looking back, they were more like New Yorkers than a family in suburban Chicago. The father's name was Philip Drell. Look him up. He has an amazing story I only realized a decade ago.
During my teenage years I became an avid amateur photographer, reading every book about the subject in the local library. At Northwestern University I photographed for the daily newspaper and the yearbook, becoming photo editor of that yearbook my senior year. Some time at the end of college I realized that maybe the life of a scientist wasn't for me and possibly I should give photography a try. After college, in August, 1976, I decided to give it a try.
My bio could fill a book. It's one reason I publish a personal journal online. There are too many stories to tell. I've been a prolific photographer since high school. I can't imagine how many millions of photographs I've taken in my life. In New York City I've gone from a fine art photographer to a fashion photographer to a portrait photographer to a dance photographer -- now somehow a version of all at once. I have photographed projects on pregnant women, women bodybuilders, tattooed women, exotic dancers, the American Ballet Theatre, The Soviet Union, cigarette butts and endless other subjects. Presently, I am working on the Intimate Portrait Project. It involves a close physical and emotional connection with each model I photograph. I have never done anything like this and it has fulfilled both my life and my art.
My photographs have always told the story of my life and now they are joined by my words and memories. Ten essays are included on this website. Many others can be found on my journal.