For one brief, glorious shining moment Gary Parker was a mentor of mine. I’d connected with him via a simple comment about the wonderfully moving personal project that chronicles the Little People among us just as they should be: among us as one of us. So moved, I fired off a heartfelt “thanks” to Gary for donating his time to give these folks their due. His gracious and sincere “thanks, I appreciate that” email started the clock on a flurry of emails that led me to ask him to mentor me as I took a headlong dive into commercial photography. I was stepping up my game, having been an investigative reporter and sometime editorial photojournalist.
Used to working long hours and little pay for my photography, I was apprehensive about bidding for high paying jobs. Gary would hear none of it. He demanded (in the best, most encouraging way) that I treat myself (and in turn, the profession) with respect by bidding a job at what it was really worth.
And so, when I snagged my first big commercial photo assignment, Gary unselfishly guided this rookie commercial photographer through each step of the process. He neither coddled me nor tossed me in the deep end. By making ME work for it, he gave me the courage to step up and nail a photographic assignment for one of the world’s largest paper manufacturers.
Gary believes deeply in giving back to the photographic community, he certainly proved that in giving of himself to someone he didn’t know from boo.
So I again wanted to say “thank you!” I also want to say how much I love your “swamp dog” blog! I was just pointed to it today and have had a great time trolling through it for wonderful ideas, imagery and inspiration.
Great work, as always.
Brock Meeks, Former Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC/Photographer
As key assistant for two years, I worked and traveled the country with Gary where I was constantly blown away by his ability to turn the most sterile corporate conference rooms into amazing backgrounds for portraiture that appeared on magazine covers across the globe. While some have affectionately used the moniker of “that lighting guy” to describe Gary his skills go far deeper, enabling him to continuously morph his photography from an artistic and technology perspective. Given Gary’s strong background in the darkroom, it was simple for him to transition from film to digital while maintaining artistic integrity in all his images. In addition to being an amazing photographer and artist, Gary was a fantastic mentor. Although I veered into technology, the photographic skills learned from Gary are timeless and much-valued. No matter what you want to accomplish in your photographic journey, Gary has the skills, experience, and know-how to take you to the next level.
Andrew Nielsen, Key Photo Assistant 1996-1998 / Hitachi Microsystems / Director of Product Management
Your talent is truly incredible!
Thank you soo much! I would write a longer email but under the gun.. you are the best and we will be sure to send more work your way!!
Sabrina Joseph, Managing Partner,
New Zealand here. So…….. I spend goodness knows how long looking at the work of other photographers and rarely.. Very rarely come across the Real Deal. Your work is technically astounding, creative, empathetic, funny and simply brilliant. I’m choking having to say this but yes..
I’m ENVIOUS. How come you got all that talent .. It’s not fair…
Declan O'Neill, Professional Photographer
Gary, I can shoot practically anything ( guns, pool, the bull, etc…) except pictures. What you do amazes me. Not only are the pictures beautiful, but the essence of the subjects you photograph comes through as though they were contributing their souls to your shots.
Paul T Shirley
Awesome website Gary, a lady I talked to sent me your way.
Madonna Long, Editor Chloe Magazine
I admit it—I’m smitten. Photographer Gary Parker is my man of the moment. An award-winning photojournalist, portrait and commercial artist, Parker’s work delighted me instantly. His website is correct when it describes him as a photographer who truly captures souls. It states, “No one’s quite sure how he manages, but Gary elicits from his subjects – human adult, child, animal, four-legged or two-toed – the part of themselves most of us try to hide – the spirit within.”
Parker is extremely versatile. He creates landscapes, product pictures, and fine art that are simple yet arresting. Even his corporate works brims with energy, color, and life. His site includes a large body of exuberant work on dwarfism that I guarantee will make you smile.
I don’t know Mr. Parker or have any stake in his success, but I enjoyed his work and think I can learn from studying it. Check out his site and see if you agree.
Elizabeth West, Writer/Blogger, Washington, DC
I just wanted to say your photographs are incredible. “The eyes are the window to the soul” – somehow the lighting really illuminates this quote for me in any picture where you can see eyes. Please never stop taking pictures!
Jordan Johnson
Today I went to visit your web-site.
It is absolutely amazing! You are amazing.
Congrats on all your good work and best wishes…
Stephanie Thatcher, President, ORCAS Project Controls
Your photos are sheer genius. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, so I did both. Thank you for sharing your art with the rest of the world……… Thanks again
Pat Browning
You are my new favorite photographer! You could do a series on people that look like their pets.
Kim Fernandez
I’ve been into photography since 1965 and shooting professionally on and off since 1986 ( I have to say that your work has humbled me and given me an urge to strive to do much better than I have done. It is quite brilliant.
I have poured through every book of photographs by every famous—or not-so-famous, photographer—and been inspired by many but it’s a long time since I have seen work that really inspired me and made me want to start over, but your photos had that effect.
So thanks. Just wanted to let you know. I”m sure you have had all the praise you could wish for so this is more of a personal acknowledgment.
David Phillips
Did you ever wonder where pro photographers go when they have questions?
I’m a shooter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Time magazine. I’ve published a book on NASCAR and have a gallery show hanging at the Pentagon.
Even with 30 years of experience I still run across problems I can¹t figure out. When that happens I call one guy: ­ Gary Parker. Plain and simple, he¹s the one for lighting and Photoshop questions.
I first met Gary when we were both newspaper Photojournalists and he showed me how to use my first flash meter. Since that time there have been tons of questions but somehow Gary always seems to have the answer.
Scott Robinson, Scott Robinson Photo