My Beginnings Fresh out of college, I came to New York City in the late 70's to work as a photo assistant. Though my focus was always on still life, in a short time, I found my self working for advertising illustration photographer Steve Steigman. Though best known for the Maxell "blown away" image, Steigman was a prolific advertising shooter and a savvy businessman. In those days, Photographer's representatives typically handled two photographers, ususally one for still life, and one for people. The selling was mostly face to face, and the portfolios, filled with big laminated prints and mounted 8 x 10 transparencies, were heavy. It simply wasn't practical to carry more than two at a time. Steigman, frustrated with the divided attention of his agent, pitched to him a new idea. Why not have a still life guy under his auspices, for one stop shopping? He owned his facility, and could easily accomodate the needed extra shooting space and infrastructure without a big expansion of his overhead. It would be a service to his clients, (since many projects had a still life component) and would save the rep the time and trouble of dealing with two different photographers. I was that new still life guy. In short order, this new arrangement flourished. From the beginning, Steve and I were able to team on projects that had both a still life and people component, which got my foot in the door. As I got to know his clients, they became mine as well. We advertised consistantly, particularly in The Creative Black Book. This was the original source book, and in those days having a spread, or two, conveyed instant legitimacy. Reps then had strong personal relationships with art directors and art buyers, and the combination of these relationships, my association with Steigman, our advertising, and my growing portfolio, made me a viable new talent.