Wally Hawkins grew up traveling all around the United States. He was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while his father was stationed there. The family moved six months later. His father served in the Army for thirty-three years and retired as a Full Colonel. At that point, he moved the family to Las Vegas, Nevada.
That was in 1974. Wally’s love for photography started as a young child. His first images were shot while on Boy Scout campouts with his mother’s Kodak Instamatic camera. As his passion for photography grew, he progressed to shooting many other subjects. At this time, with his father’s Super 8 movie camera, he also started shooting movies of his friends skateboarding. After high school Wally followed his other passions: working out and training people in the Martial Arts. Wally has been training in the Martial Arts for over forty years with a sixth-degree Black Belt in Karate and a first-degree Black Belt in Judo. With his Karate training, he started doing stunt work and acting, leading him back to working with cameras, although now they were television cameras. Wally worked his way up from a gofer to a grip, a sound tech, and a top cameraman, and eventually became a Director of Photography for some of the biggest shows in Hollywood. He covered the Beijing, Vancouver, Rio, and Sochi Olympics, the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, while working with shows like Access Hollywood, Extra, E!, and many more.
His daughter is also quite an artist. She graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts High School as an Art major. She was then accepted into the Arts Program at Pepperdine University. Wally has stated, “It’s really amazing to talk art with her and watch her learn and become a fantastic artist. Her thing is not photography; she’s a 2D and 3D artist. But art is art.”
After spending many years in Hollywood, Wally moved back to Las Vegas to help his aging father after Wally’s mother’s death. Once back home, he returned to his first passion, shooting still photography. Wally thought it would be best to jump back into school to “brush up” on his photography skills. Wally has produced some awe-inspiring images of Las Vegas and southern Nevada, with his pure love for art and his determination to become a better storyteller through photography.
Wally’s life has come full circle: living back in Las Vegas where he grew up, training in Judo and Karate, and is a very busy photographer!