Los Angeles native Ted Soqui is a photojournalist whose work regularly appears in the LA Weekly along with national and international media outlets from Glendale High School's The Explosion to The New York Times, Newsweek and Time.
This past year Ted joined award-winning photographers Jonathan Alcorn and Andrew Lichtenstein to launch JTA Photo Agency. The Los Angeles firm is "an independent non-corporate-owned photo agency dedicated to high-quality photojournalism with a global reach." Its mission: To provide the best and most truthful images in today's world.
"We believe in the sanctity of the image fixed in time," says Ted. "JTA photos will honor authenticity."
Ted Soqui began his freelance career in 1983. His first client was the Pasadena Weekly, the local newspaper and a neighbor to Pasadena Community College, where he attended, but soon abandoned, classes. The newspaper was the first to feature the personal and sometimes gritty images of urban life that have become Ted's signature. His debut feature presented beaming b-boys and b-girls defying gravity in a new style of street dance called break dancing.
Soon after that, the eager photographer wangled a press credential and pushed his way though the scrum of photographers at LAX. He was feet from President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, holding hands and waving above his head to the distant crowd. Ted sold the photo to the LA Weekly. His taste for news and his chase of news began in earnest there.
"I've covered pretty much every major news event in Los Angeles and the Southland ever since," he says. Fire storms and wind storms. Riots and rages. Airplane crashes and super jumbo jet landings. Politicians and pop stars - alive or dead. Celebrities and criminals - separate or the same.
"I chased OJ on the 405. I sold those pictures to the National Enquirer," he says.
"I was covering Lindsay Lohan at court , when Time revealed its Person of the Year cover on Good Morning America and my phone exploded with calls from friends who recognized my photo from my blog," he says. "I was shocked that so many of my friends watched GMA."
During the riots, Ted says, " I was all over town. I was working for the LA Weekly." Ten years later, his photos ran as a retrospective in The Explosion, published by Glendale High School. "That's my smallest client, but it was very professional and very impressive. I always mention it when people ask where they might have seen my work."
When the news pauses, Ted creates his own. In 2009, his powerful photo essay of Lancaster Prison earned first place honors for a single topic photo essay at the Los Angeles Press Club's 52nd Annual Southern California Journalism Award. The montage appeared in Los Angeles Magazine. Ted competed against himself for the award. His essay on wild fires won the second place award.