Meet The Photographers

The photographers featured in this book come from different backgrounds, have differing life experiences, but all are driven to make remarkable photographs (and some video) of fire. Their stories are as valuable as their photographs.

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Slide photo of Brandy Carlos Brandy Carlos AKA FirePhotoGirl
I have been a professional photographer for over 10 years.
My passion for photography in emergency services has led
me into an incredible life long journey of providing photos
and videos of incidents real time to first responders
and the communities they serve.

I have gained experience and knowledge from working
in the Fire Service for many years, and that has helped
me to achieve becoming a full time Photo Journalist today.

Slide photo of Greg Doyle Greg Doyle
I started shooting fire quite by accident, actually. I used to
have a point and shoot camera and started taking shots
while out hiking. My kids bought me a DSLR for Christmas
about 8 years ago because they liked my nature pictures.

I had been co-organizing the annual LAPD/LAFD St. Baldrick's
event since about 2003, and got to know several
photographers who would show up every year. We got to
talking about fire photography, and it sounded interesting.

The guys suggested I might enjoy shooting wildfire, as they
knew of my interest in nature photography, and it worked out
for me to join them at the Powerhouse Fire in 2013. I was
immediately hooked. The heat, the sound, the interaction
between fire and the landscape, the heroic efforts by fire
fighters on the ground and in the air all converged to make
me feel like I had found a calling to document those events.
I have a keen interest in fire aviation and shoot both fixed
wing and rotorcraft whenever I can.

Slide photo of Joe Fanasalle Joe Fanasalle
I have always been passionate about public safety. As a child,
I dreamed of growing up to become a firefighter or police
officer. In my 20s, I developed a passion for photography and
slowly started to merge the two interests together.

I started to build relationships with local photojournalists as
well as the first responders themselves, often sharing photos
with local fire departments and news outlets. I volunteer my
time and efforts to tell the stories of our local heroes, with my
primary goal being public awareness. I figure that if these
first responders are going to risk their lives to ensure
the safety of my family and my community, the least I can do
is tell their story and help the general public realize just how
amazing they really are. That, and I still enjoy the adrenaline
rush of getting out there and being in the middle of the
action when something is going down.

Slide photo of Chris Hatounian Chris Hatounian
For the last 40 years I have worked as a professional
photographer shooting motocross, cycling, and rock concerts.
I’ve held staff positions as a photo editor, assistant editor,
and senior editor for many publications.

I’ve always had a passion for documenting large scale
emergencies when they occur, capturing events on the front
line that the public would never see otherwise. From brush
fires to train accidents, I’ve done them all.

My brushfire photos have been published by most major
news media websites and one of my images of the Metrolink
train accident was requested for the cover of the LAFD 2015
annual report.

I always look for “the moment” when something is taking
place that most people don’t get a chance to see. The key is
to know your lane, and to stay clear of firefighters doing
their job, and don’t put yourself at risk. Even so, the Woolsey
fire burned a respect for wildfire deep into my soul.

Slide photo of Rick McClure Rick McClure
My interest in photography started when I was growing up
and developed a love for the fire service. I was chasing fires
on my bike and wanted to show what I was doing. I started
out with a Polaroid in 1967, and acquired my first Nikon F
in 1970.

I was mentored by some of the best photographers, Boris
Yaro, Joel Lugavere, and George Fry to name a few. I was hired
by LAFD in 1973, and continued shooting pictures throughout
my 39 year career with LAFD and my current position as a
Fire Captain for La Habra Heights Fire Department.

I have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Herald
Examiner, Daily News, UPI, AP and The Signal SCV. I have also
been well published in many fire and EMS publications
(Firehouse, Fire Engineering, Paramedics International) and
newspapers around the globe.

Slide photo of Mike Meadows Mike Meadows
I’ve been a professional photographer for 40 years. I worked
for the Los Angeles Times as a breaking news photographer
and retired in 1996, but still shoot for newspapers and
magazines. Most of my news shooting has been fires, both
structure and brush, plus a wide variety of other fires.

Ever since I had my first fire (it was a 4-story apartment house
—I was working for the L.A. Times), I’ve been hooked. I’ve had
thousands of fire photos published and one thing I have
always noticed – every fire has been different. It doesn’t
matter if it’s a car, structure, brush fires, no two are alike. Fires,
to me, are spectacular and offer numerous angles to shoot
them from. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

I used to carry a heavy, cumbersome camera bag with at least
three body’s and numerous lenses in it along with 20 to 20
rolls of film but with the years of improvements in photo
equipment I now use just one camera (Nikon) with
a Tamron 18 to 400 zoom lens. On big, usually brush fires,
I’ll take an extra body and lens, with two additional batteries.
I carry brush boots and a brush jacket in my car.

Slide photo of Steve Whitby cropped 2 Steve Whitby
My father taught me how to process negatives and prints in
a darkroom when I was eight years old and from then on I
was hooked. I started taking photos of air tankers in 1964 as
a kid with a Kodak box camera until I bought my first 35mm
camera back in 1968 and have been shooting ever since.
Although I retired eight years ago from my “bread & butter”
career as running an engineering department for a water
municipality, most of my free and spare time was either spent
over fires or in fires shooting video and stills.

From 1993-97 I did AD work (as designated) for the US Forest
Service (and the ATGS (Air Attack Group Supervisor) shooting
video and stills over fires out of Forest Service Air Attack 12
& 07 as well as CDF Air Attack 310 & 410 From their joint
base at Ryan Air Attack in Hemet CA. When the Forest Service
built their new tanker base at the San Bernardino Airport
(formally Norton Air Force Base) because of my full time
career commitment I wasn’t able to drive that distance all
the time as well as every weekend, so in 1999 I decided to go
through the training as a wildland firefighter (still part time
of course) and earned my Red Card in order to shoot video and
stills on the ground for the Forest Service Division Chief
(Div. 5) on the BDF Idyllwild Ranger Dist.

In 2011 I was interviewed for a part time volunteer position
with Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire as a photographer, that
lasted till 2013 when I was asked by Phos-Chek, (the
company that manufactures the fire retardant that’s dropped
from air tankers on fires) if I was interested in shooting on
the fire line for them (A paid position), and that’s what I’ve
been doing during fire season ever since.