I left there after about a year and went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There I was still a darkroom technician but they sent me on assignments with Agriculture scientists in Beltsville, Maryland and I did studio work in the Agriculture headquarters building.
One day a Human Resources person approached me about a photographer's position at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I really didn't know anything about HUD but it meant a promotion and I would be taking photos full time. I had become a full time U.S. Federal Government photographer documenting the history of the United States of America.
At HUD I worked with one other photographer Joe Barcia, who was the lead photographer and he taught me a lot about available light photography. He loved using his Leica cameras with Kodak Tri-X film. In those days we processed all our own film and made our own prints. Our mission was to document the activities of the department. Joe took primary responsibility for photographing the HUD Secretary and I did everything else. At the time FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration was a part of HUD so I went on a lot of national disasters around the country. Also during this time which was in the early 70's we were rebuilding inner cities. I spent a lot of time in Watts, Harlem, Baltimore and countless cities around the country. On a few occasions I would also photograph U.S. Senate Hearings on Capitol Hill. That is where I met a lot of the photojournalist who I admired and who I follow to this day.
At one point Joe retired and I was promoted in grade and took over as the lead photographer. Funny, they didn't replace Joe so I was a staff of one. This gave me a great opportunity to photograph the HUD Secretaries full time and go to the White House with them during our housing events. During this time the Presidents were Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. Little did I know at the time that I would become a Presidential photographer like David Hume Kennerly, Ollie Atkins and Michael Evans all of whom I had an opportunity to work around when I would go to the White House.
For me HUD was a great stepping stone to the next phase of my photography career. When I left HUD I went on to be the Chief Photographer for Nation's Business magazine which was published by the United States Chamber of Commerce.