Bill Bresler is a working press photographer, still having too much fun to notice that he’s a dinosaur. He lied his way onto his high school yearbook staff in 1971, and has worked as a photographer ever since. He earned a pre-law degree from Michigan State University while working for a mom and pop portrait studio. Four years of shooting weddings while in college convinced him that there might be a better way to earn a living.
Searching for employment after graduation, he stumbled across a tiny weekly newspaper that needed a photographer. He was tricked into taking the job and has had few regrets.
Two years later he moved to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers covering suburban Detroit, thinking he would work there for 3-4 years. That was 37 years ago. He’s seen the industry move from B&W film, to color film, to digital, and now on the verge of abandoning newsprint completely.
Instead of crawling into a hole, he has embraced the changes. Five years ago, as a lad of 57, he taught the newspaper’s staff how to use Facebook for news gathering. He used his Instagram account to promote his work, offer a different look at news assignments, and drive traffic to the newspaper website. One of his greatest joys is shooting video of spot news on his iPhone, editing on the phone in his car, and uploading the video to the newspaper’s website, while the firefighters are still putting out the fire.
Bresler still enjoys shooting B&W film on an old Rolleiflex and a 4X5 Crown Graphic. He’s perverse enough to post Instagrams made with the 4X5 Graphic.
He still mourns the loss of film for the Polaroid SX-70.
Bresler has taught photography at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan for 16 years. Come winter of 2017 he will teach at the Schoolcraft College Center of Photography, a new program at that school.
He has had several exhibits of his work, both solo and group shows.
In his presentation, Bresler plans to show some favorite photos, news and personal work, and tell a bunch of funny stories about his experiences in the newspaper business, which may or may not be mostly true.