Staff Bios

Chris Hildreth’s modus operandi is “no place too far and nothing is out of reach.”

Chris’ passion started at a young age in New Zealand. He found that the Kodak Instamatic, with the commemorative 1976 Olympics sticker, that he purchased with his paper route money allowed him to venture into places he would otherwise not be permitted.

Fast forward, we find Chris cutting his photographic teeth in higher education as manager of photography at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina. He then pointed his compass north to Cornell University, where he was honored as the CASE Photographer of the Year and learned to appreciate sunshine and springtime!

1994 - Goodbye Cayuga Lake, hello Durham.

Together, Chris Hildreth and Duke University have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, descended into a 600-foot pit recovering primate fossils in Madagascar and scaffolded practically every nook and cranny of the Duke Chapel. Chris feels truly blessed to wake up each day to help his team and colleagues reach for new heights.

When not on top of a fifty-foot scissor lift to take a photo of the incoming Duke freshmen class, he enjoys (in no specific order): flying airplanes as a private pilot, wife Toni, step-daughter Rachel, dog (son) Quigley, running, did we mention flying airplanes? and always; the company of family and friends.

Les Todd can remember a life before Duke Photography, but after 25 years of shooting photos across campus, those days are becoming a little hazy. Perhaps it's a bit surprising that a gray-bearded veteran will scale ladders, construction lifts and rooftops to get a new view of the campus and still get excited about finding the right light to shoot a bioengineering lab. But that's the way it is for a guy with a long institutional memory who is still in the hunt for the perfect Duke photo.

As Duke Photography's assistant director, Les will stop shooting photos long enough to keep an eye on the flow of work through the office, review ideas for an upcoming project or look over a colleague's work. His experience comes in especially handy when it’s time to search for images in the archives or recall the best time of day to shoot Few Quad in October.

Les got the idea that photography might be more than a pastime when in 1971 the editors at Life magazine selected his image of his grandfather's 93rd birthday party as a winner in a national photo contest. Then a freshman majoring in journalism at UNC, Les was soon working as a photographer for the campus newspaper and then the yearbook. After graduating, he spent a couple of years on the shores of the Pamlico River working for Duke alumnus Ashley B. Futrell, Sr. at the Washington Daily News. Just before coming to Duke, he worked as a news bureau photographer at East Carolina University.

Part of his past life includes several years of working as a landscape contractor outside of San Francisco. Gardening remains a favorite pastime at the home he shares with his wife Catherine near Oxford, N.C. Les spends his free time bird watching, in both the U.S. and Guatemala. He and Catherine have a son Robb who's a journalist living in New York.

The first thing Megan Morr did when she was asked to write this biography was to organize her thoughts with a list. That list – an attempt at capturing the essence of a detail-oriented, outdoors-loving photographer – outlined a broad range of favorite things: Joe Paterno, rolling spare change, “King of the Hill,” dive bars with karaoke, the golden hour and, of course, making lists.

If making lists sounds a little obsessive-compulsive, well, it is. But it also means Megan is well prepared for her Duke Photo assignments, because she crafted an advance list of equipment to bring to your Really Important Departmental Event.

Megan earned a BFA from Penn State University, with a concentration in ceramics. But it was the time spent shooting for the Daily Collegian that really spun her wheel. One memorable assignment called on Megan to cover a national convention of governors attended by then-President Bill Clinton. She snapped the Commander-in-Chief sampling a scoop of Peachy Paterno ice cream at the campus creamery – “Hilary would like this,” he said – and Megan quickly realized she is happiest when creating images that tell the story of a moment.

Professional stops at newspapers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Winston-Salem followed. Megan has photographed a variety of news, sports and portraiture assignments at Duke since arriving on campus in 2003. Her work has also appeared in numerous national and international publications. Megan’s leisure time is spent disposing of the many “gifts” that her cat, Toots, leaves on the front porch, hiking local trails, carousing the Triangle with friends and waiting for the day that Jordan Catalano from “My So-Called Life” finally realizes that she is the one.

Jared Lazarus knew he was hooked on photography while studying light and shadow on cars and beer bottles in a high school photography class. But he thought he’d just become a lawyer like his grandfather, dad, sister and brother. His fate was sealed during a photojournalism class at the University of Florida, dodging running backs on the sidelines of football games and perfecting his art in the darkroom listening to Duran Duran and Van Halen.

He honed his newsgathering skills at The Fayetteville Observer, The Tennessean and The Miami Herald, following DEA agents as they busted down doors to make drug arrests, and wading through knee-deep flood waters after various hurricanes. After 14 years of working on long-term documentary projects, hanging out with spring-breakers for quick feature photos and making outside-the-box portraits of actors, rock stars and everyday folk, Jared got nervous when the newspaper’s stock dropped from $57 to $2 a share. So he jumped at the opportunity to join the team at Duke Photography.

As the main Health System photographer in our office, he now showcases brilliant genomic researchers unlocking the mysteries of cancer, instead of racing to capture Cuban rafters coming ashore. When he’s not roaming around the hospital shooting Life Flight nurses, robotic surgeries and departmental group photos, he can be found in Hillsborough watching Disney Princess movies with his little girls, Caroline and Claire, and his wife, Kelly.

And every now and then you run into someone who is just not that edgy. That’s Tommy Newnam. She is kind and considerate, and thrives on customer satisfaction. She makes sure the train is on track, and the boat stays afloat. She has served the Duke community since 1990, bringing with her an Old School attitude. She’s a master multi-tasker and actually enjoys getting to work early—even on Mondays. Her favorite saying is “bring it on,” and she usually has a Plan B tucked in her pocket.

Her main concern is that you get your photography needs met and are happy. Don’t believe it? Just give her a call at 919-684-4391.

Brent Clayton has more than three decades of experience in photography and photographic production. A Durham native, he came to Duke in 1997 as an imaging specialist. The breadth of his expertise in advising clients and staff stems from his background and association with imaging and graphics specialty shops in the Durham area. Prior to coming to Duke, Brent worked with Gerygraphics, Computer Imaging and Graphics, and Spectrum Multi-Media.

Bill Snead has more than 18 years of experience in digital imaging, color management, process control and photography. This is why he’s always able to appear online as a tall, thin, gorgeous dude sporting a thick mane of touchable hair. (no, no – that’s not Fabio, its Bill!)

When not perfecting reality in Photoshop, Bill is either out carving up curvy roads on one of his five motorcycles, or carefully photographing nature’s beautiful details. Most of the time, though, he stays chained to his Mac rearranging pixels in order to make your images look simply marvelous.

A 2004 graduate of UNC-CH in Religious Studies and Art History, Bill also spent a lot of time at R•I•T studying the science of photographic imaging (exposure/rpm=life).