We had the good fortune of connecting with Larry Ulrich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Larry, how do you think about risk?
In the late 60’s I was in the Air Force Reserves and was assigned to a radar shop at Travis Air Force Base in California. The four other guys I worked with were all fanatically into photography. Once a month they would bring their most recent images to the shop to share and to critique their work. At that time I had no interest in photography but I joined the fun of these critiques. One of the guys taught photography at a local junior college. and after a year of joining the discussions he pulled me aside and told me that I had a very keen eye for composition and I should consider taking up the craft. I had never owned a camera, but had a friend who went to Japan a couple of times a year and had a connection for buying cameras, cheap. I decided, with the help of my shop mates, to make the plunge and buy a professional system. I borrowed $500.00 from my mother (who took a big risk!) and I purchased two camera bodies, four lenses, a tripod and filters. I got out and started taking pictures, teaching myself what worked. My first “showing” was a slide show for an ecology class; the instructor liked it so much that he bought a copy as a teaching tool and the rest is history.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started out selling prints on the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco CA. After a couple of years breathing exhaust fumes I turned my attention to craft fairs. It was when I stepped up to medium and large format photography is when my business really took off and I started selling my work to publishers as Stock Photography. I eventually created a website and started representing other photographers. There are 17,000 images on my website representing the work of myself and 22 other photographers. Unfortunately with the insane number of folks that call themselves photographers the stock business has plummeted and there is little or no money in stock photography today. With that said, I am retired at 72.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Redwood National and State Park and the town I live in, Trinidad, CA
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Sandy Skarr A professional photographer who took me under her wing and encourage me for years to take big chances. We are still friends.
Paul Barron who I met on top of a pass on the John Muir trail in 1971, who taught me business. We are still friends.
Facebook: Larry Ulrich Stock Photography