A blast from the past…V1.1

Way back in 2002 I was living in Los Angeles and decided I wanted to move back East. My roommate Laura and I gave up our awesome Echo Park house and the kicking pool. She found a great little guest house in another part of the city and I was planning on heading back east. Then a strange thing happened, I got busy, really busy. My last month in LA I worked like 12 jobs! My great friend Jason lived in Phoenix, about 3 hours from LA, and he offered for me to stay with him and see if the rush would continue. The plan was to stay in Phoenix, working in LA whenever a gig came up, and then if the work continued, move back to LA full time. If the work didn’t continue, I was gonna head east right before the holidays. The work kept up a little and then slowed down.

Then a wrinkle was added. Jason heard from some photographer friends of his about a unique opening at the newspaper, the Arizona Republic. They were getting ready to start a new, bold, daring, weekly stand alone, 24 page, fashion magazine. They were looking for a studio photographer who could handle doing all the  in studio shots of make-up, housewares, clothes and the occasional portrait. I applied for the gig and got it. My plan was to stay for a while, maybe a year, and save up some money to get back east. Well, we all know what happens to  plans………

The job was great! I had a studio basically to myself, 3 days a week, to shoot a pile of stuff and pretty much no limits on what we could do – all ideas were welcomed. The staff on the magazine, called YES, were all super talented. We all were very motivated and super excited to be a part of this product. We held weekly meetings and everyone was involved with coming up with ideas. The newspaper staff photogs started out shooting the fashion spreads, but after December I was pretty much the main photog, shooting the whole section most weeks. The magazine was well received by the community. It become an instant success! Yes has been copied many times and we even trained some of the other newspapers staff! Our staff was very close, we all went out and socialized together, held dinner parties, and worked very hard. We all became good friends. Our work and the magazine became very well known, we were often recognized and we could have almost any location we wanted to shoot in. We used models from the local modeling agencies and real people. We had real people in every issue. The whole experience was a blast. I ended up staying 2.5 years.

It was a good 2.5 years. I not only was working on the YES magazine, but, I was doing a TON of freelance work. I worked on local magazines, for ad agencies and on TV shows. I taught an advanced photojournalism course at Arizona State University. I was very busy, but I knew I didn’t want to stay and make my life in AZ. So, I made a decision to leave. It wasn’t easy, but I  knew I’d be happier back east. I decided to head to NYC. So I packed up, sold my cars and headed east. That, my friends, is another story…

Here are some photos from that time in my career.

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  1. Fenix says:

    Great stuff in here Peter. Love that desert shot.


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