Rick Hartford

Everybody asks me about my name. Usually they ask if I own the city. I was born in Hartford. My father was the managing editor and my mother was secretary to the publisher at the Hartford Times.

My father taught me journalism and gave me his Zeiss Icon Contessa. My mother taught me poetry. Photography is a combination of those things.

I was a reporter for many years. After a while, it seemed to me that I was spending most of my time doing telephone interviews and covering an endless succession of night meetings. I turned to photojournalism because it was a way to interact with the world around me in a more immediate way. You are there while life is unfolding around you. The story is being told through your eyes as it is happening.

I was working at The Herald in New Britain. The Courant, a Times Mirror paper at the time, had become a showcase for photojournalism. I took some pictures to the photo editor. He didn’t offer me a job then, but he encouraged me to check out the National Press Photographer Association’s Flying Short Course, which was coming to Hartford that month. My wife and I went. It was so powerful. After that day there was no question what I was going to do. It just took a little while to get in the door.

I’ve been working at The Courant for 20 years now. It has been a great ride.

Rick can be reached at rhartford@courant.com.

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