Gerald Schneir

Gerald "Jerry" Schneir


Bio of Gerald (Jerry) Schneir

Born in 1931, Jerry was educated here in west Los Angeles, attended UCLA, spent some time in the US Army Air Force and finished his education at USC where he received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1956. He spent several years as a hospital pharmacist, opened his own pharmacy in Mission Hills which he ran for about 15 years and then went into managed health for the rest of his professional life.

During all this time he developed a love for photography and became a well respected collector of antique cameras, having about 900 when he decided to donate his collection to UC Santa Barbara’s photography department which had a large area devoted to displaying antique cameras. While he had his pharmacy, he displayed a large sign requesting antique cameras which he willingly bought from his customers & patients. Also during this time he was active in many local photographic clubs and attended many seminars and also participated in presenting current thinking on new photographic enhancements.

It was while he was attending one of these seminars that he learned about Emeritus and heard that they were looking for a new photography instructor. He immediately sent in an application which was rejected by Maggie Hall, Associate Dean at Emeritus as saying the position was already filled. About a month later he was contacted by Emeritus saying the instructor that they hired was not working out and if would he still be interested. Needless to say, he said a very loud yes and has been an instructor at Emeritus since about 2005.

Initially he devoted much of his time to helping students to master the controls and features of the new cameras as they were brought to market. As smartphones started to take over the camera market, he has been spending much more of his teaching on composition and encouraging students to send in photos via email for both him and the class to discuss and evaluate. He is a strong believer in that while a perfectly exposed and blur free image can fail to get good attention, a well-composed image, even if poorly exposed or focused, can receive good, even great comments from viewers.