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Florida Aquarium

          I worked sometime in the 2000's as a photographer at the Florida Aquarium for several years. Penguins were the star of the show, but I haven't located those photos yet. I enjoyed the special "missions" I was sometimes sent on, but I really hated the everyday task of having to corral the people coming in, take their picture, and then try to sell it to them as they left.

I think many people objected but complied because it was easier. I recall once  when Scott Kelby and his wife came

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          My job here was very stressful and an hour commute each way. I started having some

physical issues which my doctor

told me were a kind of migraine.

We weren't allowed to sit down

between customers, and one

day I was having one of these "episodes" and was told I couldn't sit. I had it out with the guy that was acting as manager that day.

I left and drove home and never went back. Not a very graceful exit on my part, but Anne-Marie totally

understood. I don't have any

regret about leaving that job, and

I am happy about some of the

opportunity I got in my time there.

One thing that I was glad to leave

behind was the music they played day after day after day, It was

good, then ok, then tolerable,

and finally one of the straws on

the camel's back!

in, and I had to shoot them. I was really embarrassed because he is a very famous Photoshop guru and author that I had learned a great deal from. I didn't have a chance to talk to him, but I can just imagine what he thought about this mass production photography.


          I actually worked for a subcontractor for the Aquarium; they also

did cruise ships. That's where I shot Miss Florida in the rain. Still, it could

be a magical atmosphere to work in. There were some very dedicated folk working there, and I had some support in my private photographic efforts

from a few of them. I had one photo hanging in the Aquarium that sold for $500 to some guy from California. That was a shock to me, but with printing, framing, and paying the curators who managed the show, I cleared just enough for a car payment.

          My commute was pretty long but I was able to take the Gandy Bridge and avoid the Interstate and Howard Franklin Bridge night-

mare. There was an area that had parking, so I would sometimes pull over and get some shots of the scene on my way home from work.

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          In 2008, Jack Hanna showed up one day at the Aquarium with some exotic animals. It was very dark, so I didn't get all of them. I've tried to fix these as best as I can, but they're very grainy.