The first pencil I got to draw with in the 1960’s was a tiny golf pencil (yes, my parents were avid golfers). I drew cartoons that I would see on TV with my best friend, Michael.

My first camera was a Kodak 110 mm with a flash extender and a bulb on top. I got this for my birthday in the 1970’s. Cool, huh? . From then I graduated to a Polaroid camera.

When I was in my early 20’s I created a darkroom in my bathroom. I used dark plastic bags overlapped to shove underneath the door to block the light. I put the enlarger on the toilet seat and the pans for developer, fixer and wash inside of the bathtub.

For doing Cibachrome prints I jury-rigged a rock tumbler which was much cheaper than buying a drum for rotating the tumbler that the prints were put into.

Kevin S. Kantola headshot
Kevin S. Kantola

At the same time I was doing this I was working as a graphic artist for a local newspaper, cutting and pasting up newspaper pages and creating halftone photos.

I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in English. So, the first thing I did was get a full-time job in downtown St. Louis, making less than $10,000 processing microfilm and creating prints.

I got to develop and print photos of criminals with crowbars taking out ATM machines. I also got to develop and print spy photos of bank cashiers dipping into the till.

After doing this for a couple of years in the late 1980’s, I heard there was a new upstart newspaper in St. Louis, called The Sun, looking for graphic artists to paste up their pages and I took a position there.

What was cool about this place is that they were getting into digital imaging before any other newspaper in the U. S. I kept sticking my head into that department until I got an opportunity to join them and work on a Scitex Assembler and Scanner. In these days, Photoshop 1.0 was not able to do the “heavy lifting” of image production like it is used today.

This company folded after 9 months, but I found out on a conference call that the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix was looking for someone with Scitex experience to help them create a new department on the editorial side, scanning and color correcting photos inside of the Photography department. Since I love the energy of startup companies and even startup departments, I jumped at the chance.

During my time there I worked as an electronic picture editor, a page designer and a traditional photo editor. As an electronic picture editor I scanned and color corrected the photos from the Photography staff plus the national and international photos that came in over the wire.


As a page designer I was able to bring the photos, text and other graphical elements together to create pages for the newspaper.

As a traditional photo editor I coordinated and had a say in all of the local, national and international photos that ran in the paper.

During my time here I continued to create photos on the side and a few of mine (including Gloria Estefan on stage assuring me that the rhythm was going to get me) ran in the paper.

After 4 years with this newspaper they decided to merge with their sister paper so it was time for me to leave as I didn’t want to stay around for all of the uncertainties this would entail.

I found a job scanning and color correcting photos at a local pre-press company. After less than a year I found employment in California doing the same for a commercial printing company.

When this company was on the verge of being bought out by a larger company, I was able to find a job with what is now known, after several mergers, at AT&T. I worked in the IS/IT department in support of dozens of graphic artists who created all of the yellow pages ads for California and beyond.

Here I tested cameras, color copiers and did occasional press checks. I was involved in color management as my department had a keen focus on getting what was on the graphic artists’ computer monitors to matched the output of the color copiers and for those to match what came off press. In that capacity, I was also on the beta team for three versions of Photoshop plus other graphics arts apps such as Illustrator and Freehand. I was also the technical writer for the group.

Since then I’ve been a search engine marketer and publisher. As a publisher I’ve created over 100 of my own websites and a dozen or so for paying customers too. I’ve created many photo art pieces and graphics for the websites I’ve worked upon.

With this website I’ve decided to put my decades of creativity, knowledge and experience to work in creating the photo art gracing these pages. I am humbled that you are here, checking out my work.

As a kid, my mom put my pictures on the refrigerator. Now, as an adult, I’m happy that customers put my pictures on their walls. Thank you for your patronage and support.