Growing up on Long Island, Sunday morning my father would read five or six newspapers. Not thinking at the time I would one day contribute to the making of a newspaper or magazine, nevertheless I suspect that is where the seed was planted. After some travels in my early 20’s-eventually I found my way to a rent-stabilized apartment on Manhattan’s west side (still possible in the 90s’) my career as a photographer was still some years off.

I did all the NYC jobs, drove a cab & limo, tended bar and managed restaurants, fixed elevators and worked as a laborer.

Being lucky to have friends who were trying to make independent films, my first foray with a camera was to work as a location scout and take pictures for their films. Around that time-trying to better understand the technical aspects of photography, I took a four-week photography course at the Learning Annex given by Louis Lanzano. I moved up to set photographer and started to think maybe I could do this as a profession. At the time independent films budgets were small, so I sought out other types of photography to make ends meet.

After short stints working as an event photographer and a studio assistant, I went to a Lecture on Photojournalism by Michele McNally. (She was photo editor of Fortune magazine at the time) Ms. McNally was kind enough to look at my portfolio but her candor left me just short of tears, but I knew this is what I wanted to do.

Shortly thereafter I had the good fortune through a friend to live in and photograph firefighters at Ladder 4, Engine 54, the Firehouse in New York’s Theater District. As my time at the firehouse was coming to an end, 9/11 occurred and I  found myself heading towards ground zero just as the North Tower fell. I spent 5 hours documenting the scene where 20 of the firefighters I had lived with perished. Newsweek and Irish American magazine published my images of the  fallen Trade Center and the subsequent funerals of firefighters. Uri Davidov and Patricia Lantis at Landov Media distributed them worldwide. They introduced me to Matt Campbell who was bringing the European wire service -EPA- European Pressphoto Agency to New York, Matt gave me the opportunity to shoot news events on a regular basis.

Along the way I spent ten years as a staff photographer for the New York Public Library  ’Live’ series where I photographed Artists, Writers & Filmmakers. I also spent 18 years contributing to Bloomberg News and 8 years working for the Wall Street Journals’ Greater New York Section till it closed in 2021. My images have appeared in just about all major newspapers and magazines around the world.

Currently I continue to work for EPA European Pressphoto Agency as a Contract Photographer and contribute to Patricia Harty’s Irish America magazine.

“People robbed of their past seem to make the most fervent picture takers.”
Susan Sontag / On Photography 1973

For Elizabeth & Davey