ibarionex Perello — Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood Alumni, Photographer/Writer
I think the year was 1975 or 1976 and my father worked at a print shop on Western Avenue. One day, he saw a kid walking down the street and he asked him where he was coming from. The boy told him the Boys Club of Hollywood any my dad signed up me and my three brothers as members.
I was a member at the old location near St. Andrews Place and DeLongpre Avenue. It was an amazing facility for me as there was so much there. There was the game room, library, gym, pool and the arts and crafts room. There was so much to choose from. It wasn’t a place to be bored. I felt more comfortable with my peers there than I felt at school and my relationships with the counselors were invaluable in my growing up. Mike Cohen who was responsible for the library introduced me to photography and changed my life.
Mike restored the darkroom and brought in two friends of his to teach kids photography. I was hooked from that first darkroom session. After a while, the other kids lost interest, but I didn’t. I would often ask Mike for his keys to get into the darkroom and I would load film into the cameras, make some photographs around the club or Hollywood and then rush back to the lab and spend hours there. I found that I was pretty good at it.
I make my living now as a photographer and writer. I’ve written five books and produced two DVD titles on photography. I teach as an adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design and for the last eight years, I have been the producer of The Candid Frame podcast, which is an interview show featuring conversations with established and emerging photographers from all over the world. Over 100,000 downloads a month are made from the over 238+ shows I’ve released over the years.