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|| News Item: Posted 2002-03-30

Life's Too Short ---
A New Start for The Razor

By Gary Bogdon

Photo by Preston Mack

Photo by Preston Mack
Do you remember that song by Harry Chapin "Cats in the Cradle?"

Well, the lyrics went something like this: "Oh the cats in the cradle with the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man and the moon. When you coming home dad, I don't know when, but we'll get together then son, you know we'll have a good time then..." I swear I must have heard that song over the radio a dozen times in the last year. It seems every time I was out of town on an assignment and I flipped on the radio in the rental car, that song would come pumping out.

The lyrics go on and on, about a father who works all of the time and never has time to spend with his son. Then his son grows up and the tables turn. Then the son never has time to spend with his dad.

Now you're thinking: "what the hell does this story have to do with anything?" Well, after nearly 15 years as a staff photographer at The Orlando Sentinel, and the last several as senior sports photographer, I turned in my resignation letter several weeks ago to embark on a career as a freelance photographer.

I'm sure many of you, (including Rick Rickman) think I must be crazy to leave a staff position at a major paper, shooting what I love, with benefits and a very good salary. Well, to tell you the truth, before quitting I had many of those same thoughts. But the thought of my kids growing up, (I have two boys: Alex, 8 and Marlie, 4) and not being around to see that just became too much for me to handle.

Photo by Preston Mack

Photo by Preston Mack
I also felt that I really had the job down to a science and was not very challenged anymore. There were many little reasons for leaving, but the most important for me was to spend more time with my wife and kids.

The hours I was putting in at the paper were tremendous, and as my wife used to say, " you work doctors hours, but without the pay."

In my years at the paper I covered just about every major sporting event there is (except the Masters, which I always wanted to do): 6 Super Bowls, the NBA Finals, NCAA Final Four, major college and NFL Football, 3 Olympics including the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and many Kentucky Derby's. These assignments were all part of my job.

Before moving into the sports beat at the paper, I covered news both local and national, as well as the routine daily assignments. Some of my most memorable assignments at the paper were traveling to Russia with a team of doctors, Haitian refugees being detained in Cuba, Hurricane Andrew and Hugo's path of destruction in Florida and the Caribbean, and retired circus performers now living their lives in Florida.

Photo by Gary Bogdon

Photo by Gary Bogdon
These are just some of the fond memories from stories that I've worked on. I now plan on refocusing my career as a freelance photojournalist based in Orlando shooting both editorial (and sports) and corporate assignments for a wide range of clients. I also hope to be able to spend more time at home with my family in this new venture.

Things are going very well the last two weeks since I started. I've picked up several editorial assignments including one covering a Caribbean Cruise (and this time my wife and kids get to go along!) as well as several corporate assignments.

It took some guts and I remember driving into the office with my resignation letter in my hand, feeling like I was carrying a vile of plutonium. It was time to move on, to meet new challenges, spend more time with my family and never look back.

Life is too short, and kids grow up fast. If you're an assignment editor, and need someone in my area, give me a call.

You can reach The Razor at:
Gary Bogdon Photography
1425 Cardinal Road
Orlando, Florida 32803
Office: 407-896-1844


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