A former photographer for the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader, Tammy Abbott, lost her 20-year battle with cancer on Saturday. She was 54.
From Springville, near Sequoia National Park, Abbott spent much of her life in Los Angeles pursuing her artistic ambitions. Before becoming a photojournalist, Abbott worked in the music industry and painted.
While studying photojournalism at Los Angeles Valley College, Abbott befriended Rick Meyer, a former Los Angeles Times photographer who became her mentor after she asked him to look at her portfolio at a conference, he said.
“She had the ability to sum up the who, what, when, where and why in one picture. That’s essential in a community paper,” Meyer said. “We would meet every four or five months. We would always talk about photography, our portfolio, and most of the time, our families.”
Meyer admired the way Abbott never complained as she continued to cover assignments toting heavy photo gear while battling her illness. David Blumenkrantz, a friend and professor at Cal State Northridge, echoed that sentiment.