Eastmont Elementary School’s 6th Grade class field trip was to the observation level atop the Los Angeles City Hall, tallest building West of the Mississippi River. What an exhilarating view! - opening my eyes toward the future.
After graduation from the University of Redlands, my life changed again - military service in the USAF. My aviation career began in an off-duty military flying club, while stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. With a private pilot’s license and an honorable discharge, I returned home to Orange County, California – Home to my family since 1905.
Unemployment was 11% in 1970. Fortunately, a family friend needed a research assistant in his real estate appraisal business. Real estate valuation and consulting took me to The Shattuck Company, later acquired by the premier consulting firm - Landauer Associates.
Crafting language and graphics into artful business reports was our task. My epiphany moment came in a client’s conference room, when the corporate president spent 5 minutes “oohing and aahing” about the aerial photograph at the front of our presentation – and less than 15 seconds commenting about the valuation presented.
Friends in the appraisal industry would call to ask “I need an aerial photograph, can you help me out.” A weekend business culminated in purchasing Air Views from retiring founder – Lloyd DeMers – in 1988.
Over 15,000 hours in the air has taken me from the southern California marketplace, to the mouth of the Columbia River, over Montauk Lighthouse on Long Island, New York, and from Cypress Point Golf Club on California’s Pacific Coast to Fisher’s Island Golf Club on the Atlantic Ocean off New York.
Professional awards include the Master Aerial Photographer designation from the Professional Aerial Photographers Association International and the granting of a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
The United States Golf Association and the Baseball Hall of Fame have recognized my work. Currently we are preparing a 50-year visual diary of Orange County, California – to be called “Oh, See!” – target date for release is Spring 2015.
Photography is taken in a fraction of a second and in that same fraction of a second memories come back to life. Photography shows what we have done and explains who we are.