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By Suzanne

Parker Stevenson

1. How and when did you get started as a photographer?

P. Stevenson: I started as young as I could hold up a Kodak Brownie, probably 5 or 6 years old, and ran around shooting everything.  No one was safe, not even my sister, the pets, or the neighbors. By age 14, I was shooting weddings-- although, in hindsight, it probably wasn't such a good idea entrusting someone that young to document those kind of important life moments.

2. Was there any link between that and your acting career?

P. Stevenson: I grew up in the suburbs outside of New York City and began acting mostly because it was a way to find some independence, taking all the trips into the city for auditions. What I discovered in the process was the advertising world, not only all the billboard images that flashed by on the train station platforms as I went by, but also the ad agencies themselves. It was a chance to peek into the real life world of "Mad Men", and I was fascinated by how images could move us, whether to yearn for a product or to "see" something we'd never seen before.

3. Which do you enjoy photographing most - people, objects or landscapes?

P. Stevenson: I started with objects-- anything, really-- then slowly shifted towards landscapes and architecture because that's what I studied in college, and I've always traveled a lot. It was much later that I began to discover my curiosity, overwhelming my shyness.  I had always been afraid to approach people to photograph them. I was just too shy, unless I was shooting people with a long, long, LONG lens. Now, finally, I think I'm over that.

4. How is your business doing?

P. Stevenson: Wonderfully, I've been shooting a lot of headshots and portraits, and lately, some editorial work. This month, my first book cover is being published, called "The Jetty" by Corona Publishing. The images from the series of images I shot for the book cover have been generating a lot of interest and sales. The funny thing is, I'd be shooting anyway, no matter how the business was doing. It's the thing I look forward to doing every morning when I wake up.

5. Your web site is very cool. Did you design it, or did you have input into how it was designed?

P. Stevenson: (I'm) laughing because no, I didn't have any help; it was trial and error the whole way, mostly error. I fumbled my way through all the decisions involved, struggling every step of the way, trying to select images that would best convey how I see things. As you probably noticed, even from what is up on the Website, my "vision" is kind of dark.  It's just how I see things.

6. According to IMDB, you have a movie coming out in 2013, "McTaggart's Fortune", and Pamela Sue Martin is in it. How did that come about?

P. Stevenson: We both got calls offering us the chance to work together again. We've stayed friends all these years, and I've always adored Pamela. It was wonderful getting to spend some time with her and catch up, and we've worked together several times over these years.  She's always fun to work with and be around.

7. Have you been doing any other acting as well lately?

P. Stevenson: Some... I was in a series called "Legend of the Seeker", playing a seriously deranged king, and I've been doing voiceover work for years, but lately photography has my interest the most. I'll act again-- I've always loved it-- but it's nice to be creating something completely on my own from beginning to end.

8. Do you have a studio or store where people can view your work and/or buy items?

P. Stevenson: I live in Venice by the beach, and I work out of my home, but people sometimes come here to see images I don't have available on my website. I'll shortly have images for sale on the website; it's all set up for that. I just have a hell of a difficult time making the decisions as to which ones I'll post for sale. Some of them are just too personal and maybe not so commercial.

9. Is it on display anywhere else?

P. Stevenson: I'll be having gallery showings here in LA shortly, one show featuring the Book Cover series of images as well as some portraits, and another show featuring what I've been shooting over the last year from the 'E motion" images on my site.

10. Do you have any books with your work that people can buy?

P. Stevenson: Not yet, but I will, for sure.

11. Do you ever still talk to Shaun Cassidy?

P. Stevenson: Yes, we see each other about once a year, either at close mutual friends' gatherings, or we just make plans and have dinner to catch up on life. I'm grateful we've been able to stay in touch after all these years and grateful for his friendship. He's a really good man.

12. Do you still get fans recognizing you in public and chatting with you about your past projects?

P. Stevenson:  (I'm) smiling , yes, and it's nice; people are usually gracious and fun to talk to when they come up.  Although, sometimes they're convinced that we must have gone to school together 'cause I look so familiar.

13. You have two children - how are they doing?

P. Stevenson: True, my son, and Lillie, my daughter, are the most amazing people. I am so glad just to be in their company. They're fun, bright, and probably know me better than anyone else in my life... and they still like me. How cool is that?

14. You became a "teenage heartthrob" with the Hardy Boys. Was that difficult to adjust to, or was it mostly great?

P. Stevenson: Honestly, it was totally wonderful and in equal parts totally the weirdest thing you can imagine. Mostly because I was just working. I'd go to work every day and go home just like everyone else, but there was this enormous studio enterprise creating all this advertising and merchandise that I was in. It's that you are the exact same person whether you're suddenly famous or unknown-- you haven't changed, but the world around you has, and that's the weird part. It's not you people are reacting to-- because they don't actually know you-- it's the projects they've seen that you're in that they know, and they're two different things.

15. You've been divorced for a while - would you ever consider getting remarried?

P. Stevenson: Now you're really making me smile-- of course! But it's really challenging to be married even in the best of pairings, and honestly, I'm not 21 anymore. I'm sort of on this new path in my life and haven't a clue where it will take me. My kids are grown now, and I know they'll be just fine, so I feel a curiosity to pursue my own dreams at this point. Honestly, I'm really not sure what kind of partner I'd make at this point in my life..... There, have I made enough excuses yet?

16. What things do you like to do for fun and relaxation?

P. Stevenson: My routine these days is wonderful. I surf at the beach right in front of where I live; I edit and print constantly on the images I'm currently working on; see my kids and some really close friends I have that live nearby; I read; and shoot; and whenever I get restless, I take off and leave LA for photo safaris. I'm happy.

17. What other plans to do you have for your photography?

P. Stevenson: As much as I enjoy traveling and shooting, as much as I find things all around me that I want to express thru my photography, what haunts me the most is the exchange that takes place when you are shooting a portrait. It's like a journey that starts with a destination in mind but always veers off in another direction that is far more wonderful than anything you could have pre-envisioned. It's a journey with someone, a creative journey that holds the potential to reveal a beauty and humanity that we rarely reveal to others. That is my focus, that's my plan, that's my dream-- to have as many of those jointly fulfilling experiences as possible, and to record those beautiful moments as fully and clearly as possible. And I know, as my kids know, I go on too long sometimes about these things (that) I care most deeply about.

18. Do you ever go on Facebook or Twitter? Either privately with your friends/family or publicly for your fans?

P. Stevenson: No, I haven't, although everyone I know tells me that I HAVE to. I'm sort of a dinosaur in many ways, and I'm also sort of a hermit. I guess I prefer to see people in person to see their faces when we talk. I do text all day long to my friends and family, but so far, no Facebook account.

19. Do you ever visit fan websites about yourself or shows you've been in?

P. Stevenson: No, honestly. So much of that seems so long ago, and not about me but about the projects I was in. Even when people come up to me and ask me about some scene I was in or lines that I said, I swear to God I can't remember them at all. I've always been good at learning lines because the lines always naturally come out of the nature of the scene you are in, but by the next day and away from the situation of the scene, I couldn't tell you the lines. I'm grateful when people come up and say nice things to me, but it has always seemed like they are talking about someone else instead of me.

20. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

P. Stevenson: Yes, thank you for asking that .... I get asked a lot "How are you? What have you been doing?" So, for the record....... I'm great, I'm happy, and I've discovered a whole new way to be creative and feel fulfilled thru my photography. I have two of the most caring, sensitive children, a loving family and wonderful friends AND I live at the beach where I can surf and be by the water where I'm the happiest. I'm honestly grateful that after all these years anyone would care to know what I've been up to, and that probably is the greatest compliment anyone could give me.

Thank you for your time! When I was in high school in the late 70's, I had a best friend, Kim Harrison, who was a huge fan of yours. I wish I could tell her now that I got to interview you! (I think she has passed away)

P. Stevenson: Awwwww... that just gave me chills, I hope you get to tell her about this interview and that she's okay. Life is way too short to hold back sharing anything with people we care about. It's just way too short....... too short....

Best of luck and continued success!

P. Stevenson: Smiling, thank you, and to you, too...

Photo from Cheryl 

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Page updated 11/2/12

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