Why hello there, my name is Lou Lesko. I’m a writer that started as a fashion photographer in San Francisco back when Depeche Mode was on the radio every day. Twas a fabulous time. So much so that when I got accepted to the University of Southern California, I almost didn’t go. My father covinced me to attend by imparting the following advice; you have the rest of your life to be a photographer, but only one opportunity to go to college. I graduated from USC’s writing program three years later.
Collegiately idealized, I wanted to save the world through photojournalism. An all night party followed by a dawn cappuccino led me to my first assignment in the Soviet Union. (There’s a book coming out about that.) Photojournalism continued to be my life for two years.
Well travelled and broke I went back to shooting fashion in Los Angeles, translating my journalism experience into visual editorials with beautiful women and fabulous clothes. A few years later, fashion photography led to an opportunity to write and direct a public service announcement for breast cancer awareness, which in turn got me more directing gigs.
Getting to write for a living was happenstance. I knew a magazine editor, he asked me to write an article, I became hooked on the craft. A book I wrote about the advertising photography industry got me an invitation to be the managing editor of National Geographic Assignment for three years. Around that time my best friend, travel writer Kimberley Lovato, asked me to shoot the photos for her book about the Dordogne region of France entitled Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves. The book won the highest honor of the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism in 2012.
Currently I’m finishing a book entitled The Ghost of Communism. I live in California with my breathtaking girlfriend, a spectacular photographer named Emily Merrill.