My First Photo-Buddy
Rick Kozak

Rick Kozak introduced me to photography. At the time, he was the school yearbook photographer in the spring of 1973. Rick also had a home darkroom and after my first exposure(no pun intended) to photography nothing remained the same for me. From the first time I watched Rick develop film and then print pictures I was smitten, and I mean smitten. I could not get enough of photography. Another friend let me borrow his enlarger and I used my family’s Kodak Ektamatic 126 camera to take pictures. I shot Kodak Verichrome PAN 126 film and developed the films in the family bathroom. It was intoxicating. At the same time I was working bagging groceries at a local supermarket and eventually I saved enough to buy a Minolta SRT 101 camera with a 50mm lens. I took that camera everywhere. It was like a necklace that I always wore and I took pictures of everything. Rick and I were photo buddies and we often took road trips around the Utica area photographing. I made portraits of dogs, friends, of weddings, of cheese products for my cousin's business, and so much more.

michael peres