• Photographic Lighting Master, Visual Media Consultant, Custom Digital Imaging Expert, Visual Philosopher/Teacher…

Award-Winning Advertising, Corporate and Editorial Photographer Gary Parker draws heavily upon a natural energy which evokes a special response from his subjects, be they high level tech moguls, people from birth to the aged, four-legged and two-toed creatures in any imaginable environment. Gary’s experience in Photojournalism is reflected in all his still and video work. Gary’s ability to create unique and often whimsical photographs of cats and dogs have lead to national ad and packaging campaigns for the world’s largest pet product companies and ad agencies. (yes, Gary DOES shoot local cats and dogs for local familes!)

Awards & Accolades include:
• Newspaper Photographer of the Year (Photojournalism)
• Southern Photographer of the Year (Photojournalism)
• Pulitzer Prize in Journalism – As staff San Jose Mercury News and West Magazine
• Communication Arts and Luerzer’s Archive Awards (Advertising)
• National Lecturer faculty member for NPPA Flying Short Course
• Honorary Lifetime Member of Little People of America (for years of pro bono photography and service)

• Workshops – Personalized creative workshops based on 30 years of continuous working experience as a highly recruited staff newspaper and staff/freelance magazine photographer followed by years of freelance photography across a broad variety of advertising, corporate and editorial categories and niches. Gary is known for his lighthearted energy whose mentoring has assisted many professional and advanced amateur photographers find their focus. Workshops are private or in small groups, in-studio or on location. Private workshops vary based on individual interests and level of experience.

Gary is known for his patience with cats…which translates to the fact Gary is great with people of all levels of experience or status. Gary’s workshops are based on his in-the-field experience working for newspapers, magazines and a broad variety of freelance clients which allows custom-tailored workshops on almost any topic, based on specific student needs, visual interests, lifestyle and individual photographic experience. Gary shares everything from how to successfully establish initial rapport with subjects to how to recognize and capture cool pictures people love. His obsession with lighting and advanced yet experimental expertise has lead to national lectures across America. Ongoing topics include photographing people, kids and pets (family or commercially), establishing rapport and vibe (critical to successful photography), LIGHT; the key to successful photography, visual creativity, indoor and outdoor photography, capturing special moments on a constant basis and other various photographic topics.

Discovery TLC Documentary – Appearance in “Kenadie’s Story Part II”
Discovery TLC Documentary – Appearance in “Romeo Dev – The Worlds Smallest Bodybuilder”
Associate Producer for Big Tiny TV Series – August 2012

• Pro Bono Photographer for Little People of America and creator of the largest library of Dwarfism images in the World.


Now is the time for all good boys to jerk off their jeans and run like hell to the nearest schwangdopple to make sure everything is ok!!!  WHAT THE HELL kinda blog is this!!!!!?????  This writer has no idea.  This appears to be…….stream of unconsciousness….

Swamp Dog – aka photographer/writer/director Gary Parker – is finally ready to speak.  My personae on this blog may alternate between that of Gary Parker, the photographer, and Swamp Dog, the wise and even visionary old photo dog who, though illusive, is compadre and soul mate of this photographer who has lived and breathed photography for decades, and has still maintained the joy of an enthusiastic kid.  Sometimes I may even be my other best friend thestupidphotographer.com, an incredibly wise and stupid man who constantly learns from his many mistakes…

Once described as “like an 8 year old with 25 years experience in photography” by a Washington Post columnist, Gary remains the same today.  Often “coach” or creative/technical photographic consultant for various photography staffs across America, occasionally lecturing at large seminars, workshops, universities and local professional meetings across America, Gary is moving back towards what his down home attitude allows him to do best – teach and inspire.  Swamp Dog is ready to share his wealth of photographic knowledge beyond private mentoring and coaching, after a few enthusiastic decades of life in the very fast lane of daily assignment photography, as both as staffer for newspapers and magazines then as a freelancer for magazines, the world’s largest corporations and advertising agencies, often in disparate genres.

Born and raised in rural Louisiana, my most admired hero was my wonderful rancher/survivalist/farmer/moonshiner Grandpaw, perhaps an apparent contrast considering my current base in San Jose, CA – aka the Capital of Silicon Valley – where my versatility in photography allows me to continue living a dual identity as a corporate/people/lifestyle photographer and a kid and animal photographer for excellent national advertising and packaging brands, past and present.

Really want to learn the secrets and private tricks of a successful real world photographer, written in an easy to understand manner?  Read my blog.  Are you easily confused or do you “get lost” quickly when reading most technical photography blogs?  Me too…  Read my blog.  Do you want to learn advanced technique quickly?  Why read an entire indecipherable technical chapter when your issue can be resolved in a few sentences in my blog.

Is this a technical blog?  No way. This is a real life experience blog.  Swamp Dog says:  You can study for many moons but success or failures in real assignments are the wisest teachers, to those who take time to evaluate the results.  I have won and failed many times.  Recognizing and learning how to overcome failures has been my most brilliant professor!

Wanna learn more about photography and the real life philosophies of in-the-trenches photographers who must be creative on commandread my blog.   Wish you had a Masters in photography but don’t have time to go back or forward to get one?  Here you may learn things the masters do not yet in school.  Read this blog if you want to shortcut the process of learning real world photography from an energetic 10 year old with 40 years continuous, daily experience in assignment and self-assigned photojournalism-based creative photography.  Photojournalism-based means only that this photographer has paid his dues in winning various photographer of year awards in Photojournalism and even a Pulitzer Prize at the staff at the San Jose Mercury News here in Silicon Valley, my home freelance base for the past 18 years since leaving staff newspaper and magazine photography at some of America’s finest “picture newspapers.”   Those were the days.

Very few working photographers have more experience in mentoring and training future professionals – off the grid.  As staff “coach” in a couple staff photojournalist positions, I’d worked with other wiz kids, from East to West coasts, challenging photographic/artistic sensibilities – challenging what is art within editorial publications, always pushing for a broader view, often controversially.