Dennis Fujimoto

Photographer / Reporter / Columnist, The Garden Island

Lihue, HI

[HI-E 0501]

I think it came when I was working for TV Guide magazine. That was my real, I guess, first job.

My first job was with The Garden Island. I was in the fifth grade, but I went to school. I didn’t know really what I wanted to be. I had learned photography when I was in high school through a home study course and everybody was going to college, so I said OK I know how to do photography – why don’t I do journalism. And that’s how I started. I was offered a job with TV Guide magazine.

TV Guide, at that time, was owned by Walter Annenberg. He had this phenomenal staff of people that work[ed] the field. And this one guy – what really stuck in my mind is the fact that he told me, “It doesn’t matter whether the guy has six million dollars in his pocket and you only have six cents. You’re just as good as him.” And I never forgot that.

And if I go out today – I’m working on Kauai we have – what – 64,000 people. We used to work in LA. We used to work in Seattle. We used to work in San Diego. I mean, population centers way bigger than ours. Hollywood. What’s in Hollywood? It’s all these movie stars. You know, and I look back at that.

We used to go to lunch at some of these restaurants and these aspiring performers would come up to us and wanna’ cover of TV Guide. “Can you get me on the cover? Get me on the cover.”

Today I go out . . . last week I went to Little League baseball. You see all these little that kids come up. It’s not just I wanna’ be on the front page now; I wanna’ be on the front page. I wanna’ be in color.

And there’s a parallel right there, you know I’m working with these –- everybody considers them kids – but that’s how the movie performers were when I work for TV Guide. And everybody wanted a cover.

So everybody is treated as “cover person”. And it goes back to that saying that the guy said,” Whether you got six million dollars and the other guys got six cents – everybody’s equal.”