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The Role of the Fire Photographer

I would first like to thank Ron Richards and the editorial staff of With the Command for selecting me to head up the Photography and Hot Shots sections of the site. It is my hope to bring you informative articles on fire and emergency service photography as well as showcase work by amateur and professional photographers from all over the United States. We share here several common bonds not the least being to document the men and women of the front line forces but also to try and put an end to needless loss of life and property by fire.
Fire photographers come from many molds. Few fire departments have the budget to be able to carry full time photographers on their staff and therefore rely on individuals with an interest in the fire service and capability with photography to supply their photographic needs. I got my start by chasing my father, a Brookline, MA, Fire Fighter, around with my camera and then eventually peddling them to the local newspaper for a few dollars. As my skills grew, so did my opportunities and eventually the fire department in my hometown has utilized me for arson, training and public relations purposes just to name a few. Today I am proud to have been published nationally and my recent elevation to my current status on With the Command is a testament to what hard work can do.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and please send in those photos!!! Never be held back by thinking your work is not good enough as we are all here to learn....including myself. I look forward to hearing your comments, suggestions and critiques as well.

My next article will feature photo equipment and getting started in the field. I will teach you that you don't need a pocket of gold to get quality results. We will also begin to explore the pros and cons of traditional film photography versus digital.

Happy Shooting!!!!!!!
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Stephen Walsh
Steve's dad was a firefighter for four decades and his "career" spurned off chasing him around with his camera in Brookline, MA. Steve is a member of the International Fire Photographers Association, founding member of the International Fire Photography Organization as well as other educational associations related to photography. He freelances for a local newspaper and hase been published on many fire department web sites in the Greater Boston area. On a broader scale Steve is a contributing photographer for several fire service publications.  
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