Everyone Knows Who Pete DeMarco Is...
I first met Pete DeMarco outside of Korea's World Trade Center. We both happened to have a photograph hanging in a group exhibition at the annual Seoul Photo trade show. Before viewing the exhibition, a large group of photographers decided to meet outside the event hall and go into the massive show together.
Even though I had just met a lot of new people for the first time, it was easy to remember Pete. DeMarco stood several inches above anyone else in the group. He was a bit older than I was at the time and he was starting to gray a bit on the sides. I remember being immediately jealous of his dashing, Clooney-ish looks and impressive stature (so odd to be jealous of someone's DNA). But, even if I was blind I would have still been able to find Pete in the group. I quickly learned that he hosts an infectious laugh.
After our collective meeting, the massive group of photographers decided to have a drink before heading into Seoul's Coex exhibition hall. We found a pub nearby and, just like any event with too many people (more than 4 people in any given room is too much for me), little pods broke off, ordered their beers, and started right in on the usual photography "meet-up" chatter.
Most photographers were quick to assemble themselves at the circular tables, But there were a handful of us that hugged the bar saloon style. I was happy that Pete was one who rode the bar. Like every other photographer in that overpriced watering hole, I knew the name Pete DeMarco. I was familiar with his work and, while I don't remember the particulars of our conversation, I do remember that I greatly enjoyed his company. I was intrigued to learn more about Pete and what makes him tick.
A few years later I knew Pete relatively well. We often used each other as sounding boards and supported each other in various ways. We even took the twelve-week Artist's Way class together. After spending those hours with Pete in a "creative cluster," I still wanted to know more about the expat photographer who is just as comfortable hanging off of a roof to get a shot as he is in a mosque taking someone's portrait. I wanted to learn more about him as a person who, like me, has the need to create. So, I cornered the full time professional photographer and asked him a few questions.