Carrie Rengers

Larry Hatteberg’s new focus is photography (+video)

People keep asking Larry Hatteberg how retirement is since he left KAKE, Channel 10, almost a year ago.

“Gee, it’s great,” he tells them, “except that I didn’t retire.”

The former anchorman has returned to his first love: photography.

Hatteberg remembers watching TV in 1957 and seeing Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus on the steps of Little Rock Central High School during the school’s desegregation crisis. He was fascinated by the reporters and photographers at the scene.

“They were taking pictures and recording history, and I thought, god, that would be so much fun. I just want to be a part of that.”

In high school, Hatteberg’s interest turned to television. He continued taking photographs, though, and he has especially focused on them in the last decade during extensive travels around the world.

Now, Hatteberg has teamed with Art & Frame to sell his photographs through software that allows potential buyers to size photographs and see how they’ll look over couches or in various rooms of their homes.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” Hatteberg says.

Previously he wasn’t sure what to do with his pictures.

“I can put them in a box in my basement and that’s that,” he thought, “or I could do something with them.”

For Hatteberg, this isn’t about money or a new career.

“I wouldn’t call it a career. I’ve had one of those,” he says. “I don’t want to work for the man. I want to work for me. And I’ve been looking for an outlet to do it for a long time.”

Mostly, Hatteberg says, “I just needed a creative outlet.”

He credits Gary Mason, a professor Hatteberg had as a freshman at Emporia State University, with inspiring his creativity.

“Before I met him, I was just taking pictures.”

Hatteberg says he remembers turning in photographs and Mason taking a red pen to correct them.

“They looked like they were bleeding,” Hatteberg says.

Mason taught him to look for a subject’s soul in pictures.

“Really, that’s how ‘Hatteberg’s People’ came about,’” Hatteberg says of the popular television segment he used to do.

Still, he says photography allows him a freedom he never had in television news.

“I’m my own person, and I can see the world through the lens the way I’ve always wanted to.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers