BH: Did you go to school or take any courses to learn photography?
GC: I had taken a B&W Photography 101 course as an undergraduate elective. While working on my Masters Degree for directing in the theatre, I became the department photographer. With my acting and directing experience, I’d be up on stage with the actors during a final dress rehearsal, running around shooting Tmax 3200 speed B&W film, hand held with no flash, using an old, manual Minolta x-370 camera. I’d then race home, process the negatives, and develop a dozen or more prints on RC paper in my bathroom. The next morning I’d drop the prints off with the director, and by that afternoon, they’d be mounted and hanging in the theatre lobby. I called them, “instant exhibits".
My real break in the industry came after working as a breakfast cook. I was so sick if cooking, that I started applying for any job I could find that wasn’t in a restaurant. I was lucky enough to get a job – right out of a want ad in the local paper, working for the world famous adventure and nature photographer, Galen Rowell. One of the reasons I was hired was that I had only minimal experience with photography, and no desire to become a photographer. They didn’t want to hire photographers, or wannabe photographers. They wanted people who could work at the business side of a desk, rather than a camera. My education came from overseeing his collection of 400,000 images on a daily basis, and being involved with all of the photo workshops that were run out of our office.