I learned more about photography and how to communicate ideas with photographs in the year I was the photo editor at the Wildcat than in any other year in my life. At the Art Institute in San Francisco I learned how to make photographs that expressed myself. At the Wildcat I began the process of understanding how to make photographs tell stories.
One day early in 1973 when I was the Wildcat photo editor I was told by newspaper’s business manager that I had to shoot a fashion supplement for the paper.
The idea of shooting sorority girls wearing preppy clothes seemed like a stupid idea to me. With all the issues facing us as the war in Vietnam was on the possible edge of winding down I told the business manager how ridiculous this seemed. He said that he didn’t really care a lot how I felt about doing it. He had sold the ads and I needed to shoot it. I said that I would, but that I wanted him to stay out of the way. Sure, he said. It was one less thing for him to worry about.
Three weeks later, the morning it was published, one of the first copies of the Arizona Daily Wildcat fashion supplement was in the right hand of Stan Turley, the president of the Arizona Senate. His hand was raised over his head and he seemed irritated. It seemed that he wanted to cut $6 million dollars from the budgets of the three state universities”…if they couldn’t control their student better than this,” I think his words were.
I had wondered, if a fashion supplement is about clothing, where do you start the story? Seemed obvious, without clothing. And at the beginning of the day you have to eat breakfast. I also thought that it would be an even better idea if this breakfast table was somewhere pretty, somewhere that warmly reminded our readership of this lovely desert we lived in.
It didn’t seem like it would be too hard for my friend Rebecca and Ritch from the Invisible Theater and I to carry a small table with the breakfast food to the top of the hill at Gates Pass. Then Rebecca and Ritch sat facing each other across the table and ate cereal, fruit and juice while I took photographs. “Need a good vertical for the cover,” I thought, “with room for the masthead at the top.” There wasn’t even a hint of what I at age 6 thought was called public hair. Not a body part visible that couldn’t have been seen in any daily newspaper in America. But they were naked, obviously and entirely naked.
What a day it was! The forces of TRUTH in Phoenix not content to concern themselves with the obvious immorality of this sophomoric prank decided to whip up bonus indignation by pointing out the anti-war editorials being written by our Commie traitor editor Jay Parker, currently Colonel Jay Morgan Parker, the director of International Relations & National Security Studies at West Point. Well, by that afternoon our newsroom was filled with TV cameras and reporters and the basic theme of the day was if they mess with the Wildcat they are fooling with the Freedom of the Press. We became “press heroes” and there were few people in Southern Arizona that didn’t know, and giggle slightly, about what we had managed to pull off.
Photographer Tim Fuller may have been based in Tucson for the last 30 years, but over his career he has had assignments in 43 states and 8 countries. He has shot for ad agencies, corporate clients, magazines and books. His prolific portfolio includes performing arts, portraits for consumer magazines, lifestyle campaigns for HMOs, interiors for architectural and design magazines, annual reports and corporate collateral.
Tim’s work as been widely recognized both regionally and nationally in design and photography competitions, including the Arizona Addy Awards. In 2005 he was a finalist for the Arizona Artist of the Year award sponsored by the Southern Arizona Community Foundation.