Richard Cartwright

Los Angeles, CA

I first became interested in photography because I had a crush on a girl from Jersey.  We were both working for The Bank of New York and one day I summoned up the courage to ask her if I could photograph her for my portfolio. At first she just laughed but then she smiled and said, “Yes. I’ll give you one hour in Central Park.” This was fantastic and I couldn’t believe she bought it.  I was thrilled and panicked at the same time because but there was one major problem – I didn’t own a camera.  So I asked my neighbor, Mr. Gamper, if I could borrow his and he came through for me.

That was 1967 and the summer of love. In 1968, I was on my way to Vietnam and with the photos I took of that lovely young woman in Central Park, I became a Navy photographer.

When I got back to the states, I discovered the works of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon and my interest in photography grew. I moved to Boston where I became a convention photographer, created a camera store, and dabbled in fashion photography. It wasn’t long before I met another pretty girl but soon after she wound up leaving Boston to pursue her dreams in LA. I found myself really wanting to get into the film industry so eventually I followed her. I landed my first job, an ABC Movie of the Week called Parole, and suddenly my new career was launched in LA and New York.

With close to forty years of experience under my belt now, I still work in television and film. I’ve met many pretty girls along the way but there will always be a special place in my heart for Peggy and Phyllis. Oh, and I can’t forget about Mr. Gamper because after all, he ultimately gave me my start.