Ken Buckner

Ken Buckner

Part-time Faculty


Ken Buckner, a disabled Vietnam veteran, graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1971. On the day he graduated, he was invited to display his first One Man Show. Moving to LA, his first job was as the cast photographer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. That was the start of a 30-year career in Hollywood, photographing the models, fashions and movie stars of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. During that time, he worked with many of the top fashion designers, from Givenchy to Ralph Lauren, top models, from Cheryl Tiegs, Christina Ferrare, Rene Russo, Beverly Johnson, and Maud Adams, and movie stars, from Edward G. Robinson, George Burns, Henry Fonda and Gene Hackman. His work also appeared in many of the top fashion and glamour magazines. During the early 1990’s, he decided to go back to school, get his degree and become a teacher. In the late 90’s he was asked to teach at Emeritus and hasn’t slowed down since.


Teaching photography classes at Emeritus is more fun than you can imagine. My students constantly amaze me, and make me a better photographer. Many times, even with all my experience and training, they see things and shoot things that truly impress me. Keeps me humble, and their enthusiasm keeps me alive…

Photographing people has always been my greatest love. I enjoy capturing someone in such a way that both the subject and the viewer are surprised. My portrait of “Maggie” was one of my best efforts. It was my “Thank You” to her, for hiring me, and the most delightful part was how thrilled she and everyone else was with the end result. I loved that. The portrait of “Sir,” Edward G. Robinson, was equally delightful. It’s a portrait of a very gentle man who has the unique ability to “look right through you” and I was very lucky to capture that part of his personality.


1966-1967 Combat Photographer, in Vietnam, wounded, spent 9 months in the hospital.

After discharge, attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. First one-man show was on the day I graduated (1971). Spent weekends in LA chasing celebrities. First subject was Edward G. Robinson, who selected my portrait for the cover of his autobiography. Photographed “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.” Hired as their cast photographer upon graduation. Photographed too many celebrities to mention here.

1973-1974, wrote and photographed “Available Light Photography” book. Peterson’s #2 selling photo book.

1975-1978, hired by Bullocks to photograph their fashion catalogs. Worked with top models like Cheryl Tiegs, Christina Ferrare, Rene Russo, Beverly Johnson, Maud Adams and Jerry Hall.

1978-1980, hired by Harris and Frank to photograph their fashion ads.

1980-1987, built a reputation for superior headshots and glamour portraits. Opened a small studio in Beverly Hills

1988-1995, closed the studio and went back to school to become a teacher. Started teaching in 1998