The elder Lulow was careful not to put pressure on his sons to become doctors. Lulow’s younger brother David became a musician and his mother, Dove, studied interior design. Lulow’s father later followed his own creative passion. After reading Irving Stone’s great work (The Agony and the Ecstasy) about the life of Michelangelo, he felt called to become a sculptor and built his own retreat in Sherman, Connecticut, where he kept an art studio.
Always seeming to know he had a visual talent of some sort, Lulow was thirteen and on a family trip to Bermuda when he became fascinated with light and how the camera saw these images. He had two uncles who were in the pawn shop and jewelry business in Washington, DC. On visits there, he was always intrigued by the cameras they had in their shops. His father got him his very first camera—a Ricohflex (twin lens reflex). The second professional camera he bought on his own was a Pentax with two extra lenses.
Children growing up in New York City share their childhood experience with a great diversity of people. Far from being a sheltered childhood, kids learn life lessons—on the streets of New York City in a way that they could not have learned elsewhere. Growing up in New York City often makes young people adventurous and independent enough to check out the rest of the country. In the 1960s and 70s in particular, there was a popular trend for young New Yorkers to go west. Lulow was no exception.
Soon he was off to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and that is when he decided to get serious about photography. He says, “I was a senior in college and was taking courses in television production.” Later he got a Master’s degree in Radio, TV Film at Wisconsin-Madison and began photographing girlfriends. “In 1962 I saw Antonioni’s film Blow Up, which had a profound influence on me,” he says. “I loved the whole ambiance of the film and what the photographer was doing. Blow Up was modeled on the career of English photographer David Bailey. Blow Up influenced me a lot because that’s how I thought I’d meet girls. (I had a really nice studio later, but not quite like that.) I thought I’d like to have a studio like that someday. That’s what sealed it for me.”
Before moving to Denver, he worked as a junior high school teacher, which allowed him to save a lot of money. He continued to play music and bought his first Martin guitar. Next came a reel-to-reel tape recorder so he could record his own music. Then the push was on to move farther west. He says, “I bought my toys and went to Denver without a job.”
In Denver, the photo imagery Lulow created was colored by his love for music. Then in 1970 Lulow took a trip from Denver to San Francisco, where he looked up the rock photographer Jim Marshall. By this time Lulow had started to photograph rock bands in Denver. James Joseph Marshall was already well known as a photographer of rock stars in the same way another rock photographer, Barron Wolman, was also known in the music world. Jim Marshall had easy backstage access to
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