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Rick Stewart

I am a Visual Artist.  Photography is my medium and a camera is my tool.  My first camera was a Canon AE-1,  I loved that camera and it seemed to be with me all the time. When I needed to develop the film (yes, it was real film), I would take it to fotomart and wait three days for it to be ready.  Oh, what great times those were!  While learning how to use that camera, I started thinking about photography as a serious career.  I was 27 at the time (a newcomer to the photography world), eagerly looking to work with professional photographers, in any position available. While working at Balcar/Tekno (a professional photography equipment rental studio), I met some of the top photographers in Chicago. They needed to rent equipment and I thought that if I worked in that department, I could then became acquainted with all of them…JoAnn Carney, Marc Hauser, Don Getsug, Dennis Manarchy, Abby Sadin, Barbara Karant, Joe Rowley and quite a few others.  I got to know them and they got to know me. Eventually, they started to hire me as their assistant, they each had their own specialty  (still life, people, lifestyle, product, interiors/exteriors). While being a freelance assistant, I realized that being a “free agent” allowed me the freedom to work with many different photographers and gave me the opportunity to learn different techniques from each of them and to developed my own style. After a Couple of years freelancing, I started working almost exclusively with Joann Carney, Joe Rowley and Don Getsug. By assisting them, I learned to expand my own vision and to develop my craft into an art form.I personally can’t imagine any other profession as rewarding as photography.  Being a Visual Artist, a Photographer – working with people, capturing the moment, the look, that smile, the frown, the pain, the essence of the person before me – that is what I do best. That is when I’m the happiest.