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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One of the Men who Brought Down Bundy

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing Leonard Territo, one of the key homicide advisors who brought serial killer Ted Bundy to trial and conviction. Territo began as a motorcycle officer in Tampa in the 1960s before moving up the ranks in law enforcement, eventually becoming a professor of criminology at St. Leo University and a professor emeritus at the University of South Florida.

Getting to meet and then hang out with someone like Leonard Territo is one of the highlights of working as a photographer at a university that is really the size of a small town. Indeed, USF has its own zip code - 33620. Professor Territo was a terrific person to spend an hour with and he was quick to share some images from the Bundy trial, one of Bundy "grinning" as the indictment was read as well as one of Bundy post-execution. "He wasn't grinning in that one," said Territo.

Unfortunately, we were tasked with photographing professor Territo in a 60-year old butcher block classroom. Picture white boards, white walls and desks. To create an interesting portrait, my assistant Aimee Blodgett recommended posing him by a tackboard and desk. Having only 40 minutes to work before a class began, I used a small grid spot with a diffuser to add drama to Territo's face. We then gelled a background light and fired it through a 14 inch HONL snoot so it scattered warm light on the background. You'd never guess it was a bland classroom. Photography like this is all about what you don't show.

In addition to writing several criminology texts and texts on police personnel management, Territo is the recent co-author of "Ivory Tower Cop," a fictional account of a sexual violence expert who joins the Miami police department to solve a crime. He is currently at work on his second collaboration with co-author George Kirkham entitled "The Paper Man."

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