I was born in St. Louis, MO, under the zodiac sign of Virgo, though I sang about “Aquarius.” I was one of four children and dreamed of playing baseball, pitching for the Cardinals just to escape poverty.
I loved to play cowboys and Indians, with a cap pistol in one holster and a camera in the other.
Though I did not succeed at pitching for the Cardinals, I joined the U.S. Navy as a Steward and played baseball for the Navy special services in San Francisco, which led to my being signed to a minor league contract with the L.A. Dodgers. That potential baseball career was ended by a car accident, but I still played in some entertainment leagues.
As many minorities did at the time, I had very few opportunities for advancing to my chosen position as a Naval photographer, but I purchased my first 35mm camera while stationed in Adak, Alaska.
I took my outgoing pay of $550 after discharge from the Navy and purchased a $300 used medium-format camera. Using the other $250, I had to find a place to stay with my dreams of making it big in ‘big bad’ Hollywood.
Early in my photography career, I was able to get jobs photographing models for Harper’s Bazaar in Los Angeles, going on photo shoots for Johnson Publications–including JET and Ebony magazines. I was also able to land a few assignments at Playboy Enterprises and People magazine. I and some other “rising stars” started our own fashion magazines, called ‘Elegant’ and ‘Elegant Teen’.
Though they were unique publishing concepts at the time, I then put my photography ambitions on the back burner for 20 years to take my musical seat with none other than the incomparable four -Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, and Ron Townsend- otherwise known as …
My name is Lamonte McLemore, Professional Photographer and Singer, “The Fifth Dimension.”
I still travel, sing, and do my photography gigs with some of the most exciting and beautiful and exotic people, places, and marvels worldwide.
When I go on tour, my camera is still around my neck, and I love photographing beautiful ladies, especially the only two kinds of women there are in the world — foreign and domestic. The female body is an art form and I have been photographing them, and much much more, for more than 25 years.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.
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