Todd Reed, a deserving Freedom Festival grand marshal.

June 10, 2015

todd reed

To be recognized tonight by Jaycees at Scottville Clown Band waterfront concert.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Tonight the Ludington Area Jaycees will pay tribute to the grand marshal of this year’s Fourth of July Freedom Festival parade, Todd Reed. The tribute will take place during the Scottville Clown Band’s 7 p.m. concert at Waterfront Park. See concert story here. 

Todd is a deserving recipient of the title of grand marshal. He has served this community and country in many capacities over the years. Todd grew up in Ludington and graduated from Ludington High School in 1967. He then attended college at Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University, where he received a degree in journalism.

Todd returned to Mason County and began a career at the Ludington Daily News, starting out as a general assignment reporter before being promoted to assistant managing editor. Through the years he developed a love of photography and took on the role of chief photographer.

Todd also volunteered to serve his country by joining the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. His decades-long career ended with him earning the rank of chief petty officer, a task achieved by few reservists.

Todd’s love of photography has never been one he keeps to himself. He has a passion to share his art and his techniques with others. In the late 1980s he accepted a position as an adjunct professor of photography at West Shore Community College. That’s where our paths crossed.

I was a kid who always had an interest in journalism and photography. The summer I graduated from high school, 1988, I was set to begin the fall semester at Ferris State University. But, a financial aid snafu caused me to reconsider and attend West Shore instead. I naturally signed up for photography. I knew a little about the darkroom already from high school. But, Todd Reed taught me to truly love the art.

Todd recognized my interest in documenting and being part of our hometown, just as he had done for the past 20-some years at that point. When the semester was finished, Todd introduced me to Paul Peterson, managing editor of the newspaper, and, through his influence, I became a “stringer” for the paper. A stringer is basically a freelance reporter who gets paid by the piece. This stringer position evolved into a part-time job.

I learned a lot about journalism and photojournalism from Todd. He had a way of truly being sympathetic in situations of great human tragedy, through his interviewing and writing skills and through his photography. He taught me how to capture the moment in a way that showed respect for the victims but yet still told the story. We worked side-by-side through some of the worst moments our community has experienced and through some of the best times as well.

As I came near the end of my college career, Todd was realizing he was coming to the end of his journalism career. Fine art photography, his passion, was calling. In 1994, I replaced Todd as chief photographer and he began a new journey. That journey has grown into what is now Todd & Brad Reed Photography. Todd works side-by-side with his son, Brad, who is another testimony to Todd’s selfless desire to teach others, not only photography, but the skills of being an outstanding father, husband, grandfather, community leader, business man, mentor, friend and overall human being.

Well done, Todd. Congratulations! And, well done, Jaycees. A fantastic choice.

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