Westmoreland photographer, ‘Mr. Kodak’ was known worldwide
Terry Deglau almost always had a camera in his hands. He was a world-renowned professional photographer, but he never really saw it as a job.
“He always said photography wasn’t actually work because if you like what you do, you never work a day,” said his daughter, Sydney Ceren.
Terry J. Deglau died Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at Redstone Senior Care Center in Greensburg. He was 79.
He was born Aug. 17, 1940, the only child of Henry J. and Mary Edsall Deglau of Derry. His parents were photographers, and he was quick to pick up the family business.
“It was just in Terry’s blood,” said Skip Cohen, a friend and longtime member of the photography industry.
Mr. Deglau photographed nearly 200 heads of state at the United Nations’ Millennium Conference in 2000. He photographed U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy and golf legend Arnold Palmer. For more than a decade, he was “Mr. Kodak,” acting as the film giant’s liaison to wedding and portrait photographers all over the country.
Mr. Deglau knew hundreds of influential photographers and influenced them in turn, Cohen said.
“Terry is responsible for so many of the things that photographers do today, in the way they photograph, and the way they work with clients,” he said.
Mr. Deglau was soft-spoken but had a way of getting people to listen, his family said.
“He was very close friends with many, many people,” said his son, James Deglau.
He spent decades working at his family’s portrait studio, perfecting his craft.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the portrait image,” Deglau told the Tribune-Review in 2015. “I would say I’m pretty much a traditionalist with, I hope, a quirk of contemporary in it.”
In the 1980s, he moved to Rochester, N.Y., for a job with Kodak, talking with other portrait pros on behalf of the company.
“He was the face of Kodak to so many professional photographers,” Cohen said. “He also knew and understood what photographers needed.”
When his daughter became a wedding photographer, he became her assistant.
“He would drive down from Rochester every weekend and shoot a wedding with me,” she said.
After he retired, even after a stroke confined him to a wheelchair, he published a weekly blog with advice for photographers that was read by hundreds.
Mr. Deglau is survived by former wife Gretchen of Elmira, N.Y.; son James Deglau, with his wife, Janet, and granddaughter, Sophie, of Larkspur, Calif.; and daughter, Sydney Ceren, with her husband, Matt, and grandsons, Alex and Ethan of Buford, Ga.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 19 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Latrobe, where he was a member.
McCabe Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .