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Photographer Wally Skalij was first attracted to photography when he was watching a Lakers game as a kid. A huge fan of sports throughout his childhood, he suddenly found himself more intrigued by the sports photographers on the sidelines than the athletes he'd always admired.

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He says that he figured if he couldn't be one of the athletes out on the court, he wanted to get as close to them as he possibly could.

And it's pretty lucky for us that he did, because without him we wouldn't have some of sports' most exciting, joyful, poignant, and dramatic moments captured on film. Wally has photographed for the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze, and he's covered everything from the streets of Los Angeles to the Oscars, from the NBA Finals to the Olympic games.

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His insightful and poignant photographs capture the human spirit in daily life, in sports, and in the world around us. Join us on July 17 for an evening with this talented and inspiring photographer!

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