Andy Towle's passion for photography may one day lead to his demise. The veteran photographer has already suffered through a shoulder surgery in October to repair two torn tendons caused by the constant raising of his camera to his eye.
Towle, the newest member of the Payson Roundup staff, estimates that he has taken nearly three million photographs in the 37 years that he's been "capturing moment(s) on film."
"I estimated 36 exposures per roll of film, times three rolls a day for six days a week, for more than 37 years," he said. "And with weddings and events, it's more than that each week. It's about three million pictures, give or take a couple hundred thousand."
No wonder his shoulder gave out.
Towle has a colorful background in photography. He's worked the gamut in the field -- from working in commercial photography for the likes of Harley-Davidson, to expressing his journalistic talents at a handful of newspapers around the country.
While he said he only entered the photography field because he didn't like the way processors were developing his film, it's obvious from his dedication and myriad photographs that he made the right career choice.
"I take my camera almost everywhere," he said. "I like going into a situation where I don't know what's going to happen."
Towle moved to the Rim Country from Show Low where he most recently worked as a photographer for the White Mountain Independent.
"I really like newspaper photography, because you never know what's going to happen," he said.
Towle said that he has found a fit in Payson and foresees a long stay in the Rim Country. He has no plans for retirement in the near future.
"I like the people here," he said.
"I'd rather die shooting an event, than retire," he added.