William Luse loves taking pictures and interacting with his subjects.
“It’s very rewarding, emotionally rewarding,” Bill said. “It’s a lot of hours and a lot of work.”
Bill became involved in photography in 1972, through military service. He enlisted and received training as a photo lab technician and worked in an intelligence division for the US Army in Europe until the project lost funding.
He was then transferred to an American Forces Network television station in Ramstein, Germany. There he worked as a motion picture photographer until November 1974. Bill did everything from filming and processing to editing and getting it ready for broadcast.
“There’s been a lot of just steady evolution of photography and photography has changed a lot itself in the last five to 10 years,” Bill said.
Bill bought a studio in DeWitt in October 1976. During the years, he has seen some drastic changes in photography. Bill said digital photography has changed photography and allows him to play with the images more. However, he still loves working with film, finding it to have its own unique qualities and characteristics.
“And there’s something about the dedication to making sure you got it right on that sheet of film the first time and the surprise of seeing it when it first comes back,” Bill said.
Bill takes photographs for a lot of subjects and people. His favorite subjects are children. He enjoys seeing them grow and change. Bill’s first appointment on Wednesday morning was a little boy, Parker Bovitz, of DeWitt. Bill has taken pictures of Parker at three months, six months and nine months of age. Wednesday was Parker’s first birthday and his mother, Angela Bovitz, brought him in for pictures.
“The kids are always a blast. I’ve always loved kids,” Bill said.
Bill was excited to see how Parker had grown since he last saw him. As Parker and his mother entered the studio, Bill greeted them, talking to Parker and making him smile. He then turned on the studio lights and attached the same backdrop he had used for Parker’s other photographs.
“I try to keep pictures somewhat simple and not have too many props in and the props that we use we try to keep simple,” Bill said. “Because I still feel it’s the person, not the props.”
Bill does have some props, such as chairs, benches, blocks and a rocking horse. However, he started taking simple pictures of Parker, laying or sitting on the cloth backdrop on the floor. His mother brought a ball and Bill rolled it to Parker, playing with him and making him laugh. Parker kept taking his orange hat off and playing with it. Bill even put it on his own head to get Parker to giggle and reach for it. Eventually, he introduced props that Parker might find interesting.
“You never quite know what trips their fancy,” Bill said.
Angela always buys a little photograph book of the various pictures Bill takes. These often include the fun candids that she might not put on her wall, but still show her son. Bill takes extra pictures, trying to capture Parker’s different expressions and feature his little hands and feet. Bill loves the textures of the bottom of children’s feet. He feels these books allow him to get to show off all of Parker’s little antics and the neat things he does.
“Kids are probably the most fun,” Bill said. “They’re just so natural and you just have to find the thing that makes them happy and get all the expressions.”
When Parker was tired of having his picture taken and restless, Bill and Angela decided to end the photo shoot. Bill walked around the front of the studio with Parker while his mother filled out the paperwork.
“It’s hard to tell who has more fun, me or the kids,” Bill said.
After they left, Bill moved to his computer to work on some of the pictures he has taken. He is currently doing a lot of sports photos. He does not enjoy developing pictures as much as taking them.
“Probably the one drawback with digital is I spend so much time at the computer,” Bill said. “I’d much rather be out taking pictures.”