late 1960's

First Collaboration

Dick Westheimer’s eye

Eventually my cousin Dick, who lived just a few blocks from me, also took up photography and we collaborated to take over his 3rd floor bathroom, make a real darkroom with an enlarger on the toilet and trays in the bathtub. We called ourselves Westheimer & Westheimer Studios. We instantly had a client: our grandfather hired us to document his art collection for insurance records. We spent many days looking at the prints and paintings that grandma and grandpa had acquired in their frequent travels since the early 20th century. It was an art history education, and a way to learn and practice photography as well as a business.

I was a voracious reader of Popular Photography and Modern Photography magazines where I learned about new techniques and equipment. My oldest brother Tom was interested in electronics and shared his Popular Mechanics and various electronics publications. I would accompany him to the magical Lapirow Brothers electronics store and was fascinated with the diodes, resistors, potentiometers and all those electronics parts for projects and experiments.