I am sad to announce the passing of Mardick Baliozian on Sept. 22, 2009, in Paris, France. My father was born in Larchmont, N.Y., on July 1, 1925.
At the age of 17, my father enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he trained and worked as a photographer during the Pacific war. After the war, he enrolled at Amherst as part of the G.I. bill.
With over 400 students and a mix of G.I.s and “civilians,” my father’s graduating class included “160 odd ex-servicemen [who] carried out a somewhat monastic pursuit of scholarship in a radiator less James and Stearns Halls [. . .] while the Comptroller tried to calculate six men into a three-man room.” (1950 Olio).
He founded the APA (Amherst Photographer’s Association) and built the Pratt darkroom to supply photography for the campus publications. He was associate features editor of Touchstone magazine, joined the Olio team, was an active member of the flying club and co-founded the WAMF radio station where he was technical director for the first two years.
He graduated cum laude in fine arts and mathematics. His fine arts thesis on “Photography as an Artistic Medium” made the case that photography was more than a technical process. He went on to become one of Paris’ top fashion and still-life photographer from 1950 to 1957, with photos in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, House & Garden, ELLE, Nouveau Femina and Jours de France.
In 1954, he founded BALCAR, soon to be the world’s leading photographic lighting brand. His use of the umbrella as a photographic reflector is one of the many “standards” he established in his highly successful professional life. In the 1990’s, he spearheaded energy efficient fluorescent lighting for the TV market.
My father is survived by his wife Brenda, daughters Karen and Patricia, myself and seven grandchildren.
—Kevin Mardick Baliozian ’83