NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - WVUE-TV Photojournalist Avis Landry has been named to the Louisiana Associated Press Hall of Fame.
He was one of the first two people to receive the honor.
Landry was 19-years-old when he started a career in T.V. news. His first day as an employee at WVUE Channel 8 was May 5, 1975. Forty-four years later, he is still working, learning, and growing.
The news business has changed, but Avis has embraced the evolution and still demands excellence.
Avis studied electronics at Elkins Institute in New Orleans. The knowledge was invaluable when he applied to WVUE in 1975.
Avis started out in engineering, ran projection, studio cameras, and made sure the color was correct on the video cameras.
When another photographer moved to Baton Rouge, News Director Alec Gifford offered Avis a job in the news department.
The year was 1977, and the station was about to get its first microwave truck. Avis, with his electronic background, helped to build it.
He covered big stories, and always seem to be linked to the microwave or satellite truck, bringing incredible live images to viewers. He was running the satellite truck during the Louisiana Gubernatorial Election in November of 1987, when the Oakdale Prison Riot broke out. After the election coverage, news managers told Avis to take the truck to Oakdale. He came home a week later.
Thanksgiving was a bust, but he sent the riveting images and reporters' stories home to viewers via satellite.
Avis has covered every presidential visit in New Orleans since 1980, Hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, and everyone in between for the last four decades. He covered the police strike of 1979 and the absence of Mardi Gras parades that year, and the first Mardi Gras after crews were forced to either desegregate or stop parading. He has covered every Saints home game for 20 years.
Avis has worked for at least 10 news directors and has witnessed the evolution of broadcasting. He has transitioned from 16mm film to 3/4 tape to small digital camera that he shoots news stories with every day.
"The 3/4 deck, tube camera, light and battery pack were probably 50 pounds," he remembers.
He's adjusted to small digital cameras, and marvels at the quality of video that can be taken from a simple cell phone.
"This is a job where no two days are the same. It's an adventure, a learning adventure. Things change, people change, and the way we cover stories changes every day," Landry said.
He still loves the business that has given him a window to history.
His motto is: I do the best I can and give 100 percent. If that’s not good enough, you have a problem. I don’t.