was born in Ft. Worth, TX and raised in Ft. Stockton, TX. I
took my first airplane ride at 4 years old. The pilot was our
next-door neighbor's oldest son, Oran W. Nicks, who went on
to become head of NASA's unmanned spacecraft expeditions. From
that first flight, I was hooked on aviation and airplanes. I
was intrigued to see B-17's and C-47's leaving Gibbs field after
WWII. I couldn't believe anything that big could fly!
have a college degree in art, but my total formal photographic
education is one three-hour photojournalism course in college.
Less than 2 years after completing the only photography course
I've ever taken, I was working for the TIME-LIFE photographer
in Dallas. After 2 years of that I realized I wasn't a photojournalist,
and went on to corporate and advertising photography, which
was more lucrative and increased my chances to be around airplanes.
the early 70's I was asked to come to Harlingen, TX, to shoot
some WWII airplanes for the Confederate Air Force. The CAF was
not having any success in having the locals shoot their aircraft
air-to-air. My first airplane shoot was of 6 -47 Thunderbolts
shot from a B-25. I was hooked again. I had never seen anything
so amazing! At first I simply watched the 6 -47's join-up, then
I remembered why I was there, in the loudest, most uncomfortable
place I had ever been.
The shoot was a success and a few years later, Lloyd Nolen,
the founder of the CAF, declared me the CAF Chief Official Photographer.
A dubious title and delivered with a wink and blessed by the
fictitious Colonel Culpeper. I still shoot for the CAF on occasion.
the years have gone by, I still have an affection for aviation,
but more recently have been photographing the people involved
in aviation in WWII and prior to WWII. I am most intrigued by
the Women Air Force Service Pilots, more commonly known as WASPs.
favorite airplanes to shoot from are: B-25, SB2C Helldiver,
T-34 and AT-6. However, I believe the success of the shoot depends
more on the skill and experience of the pilot in the aircraft
being photographed and the pilot flying the camera ship. When
the pilots are good, all I have to do is keep my eyes open and
include: TAG-Canadair, Bell Helicopter, Aerospeciale, Nortel
Networks, Diamond Shamrock and AT&T.
is married, living in Dallas, has one son in medical school
and a grandson.