I met West Gale at one of the countless events I attended in Los Angeles during my many attempts to find new clients and meet interesting people. I’ve always been on a mission of building a body of portrait photography of what I named “Interesting People.”
I like to make character portraits of people in the studio, on location, or in their environment. When we met I asked if he would be interested in allowing me to photograph him, he quickly agreed being accustomed to being in front of the camera. When I photographed him he lived off Central Ave. He said he was an actor and afterward, I saw him in a number of blaxploitation movies alongside his longtime friend Rudy Ray Moore. According to IMDb, he has 44 movie credits to his name with the earliest being from 1941 to 1979.
His small home seemed smaller because he had so many African products piled in the living room. He used the products to take to schools to lecture on Africa and it’s people. After quite a bit of arranging and moving things around, I was able to capture the photo above.