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August 31, 2002

A Photographer's Famous Celebrations: Photographing Wall Street or Broad Street is a challengeloved

By Gregory Bresiger

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  • A Photographer's Famous Celebrations: Photographing Wall Street or Broad Street is a challengeloved

Gregory McDermott, an equity options trader with about a decade in the trading business, was hooked in high school. That's when it all began and yet he was not even vaguely involved in trading at that time.

McDermott, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, took photos and helped to put his high school yearbook together back in the 1980s. He discovered that he enjoyed the process of laying out a publication and of finding the right photos. McDermott loved the challenge of finding that unique perspective - whether it was a stunning aerial photograph of the World Trade Center or Center City in Philadelphia. He loved the challenge that everyone else had passed by.

"It was so much fun. I actually became the editor of the yearbook. I knew that I had found something that I wanted to stay with," he said. From that point, he could never walk away from the camera.

That's even though he later decided that he was headed for a business career that would land him in the middle of the trading industry.

Small Publications

Still, he took freelance assignments for various small publications. That's even though he continued to pursue his career as a trader. His hobby would eventually lead him to cross paths with one of the rich and the famous.

McDermott, a 1987 graduate of St. Joseph's University, also has pursued a trading career. He has worked for First Continental Trading in New York and most recently as head options trader at JAS Securities in Philadelphia, managing the group's options portfolio risk.

Although McDermott says he is a trader first, photography remains something he loves.

"But I find many similarities between trading and photography," said McDermott, who is married with two children. "Trading and photography both require that one applies oneself. They both require intense periods of concentration for short periods of time. One is always looking for something that others have missed," according to McDermott, who lives in Holland, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.

McDermott's search for the unique has paid off. Today, some of his photos hang in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. The theme of most of McDermott's work is the special character of his favorite city.

"I have some special shots of the city of Philadelphia. It is a city that I have always loved, having grown up here," he said. "Many people don't see what a beautiful town Philadelphia is. We have some special buildings and there are lovely landscapes that can be captured and that should be preserved."

Good Memories

McDermott also takes many photographs of his two young children, again looking to freeze a point in time so it can always be remembered. McDermott's love of photography has given him several good memories.

After college, McDermott's search for these unique photos took him just out of town. In fact, it took him out of state, across the Delaware River to New Jersey.