Steve Gooch has been a photojournalist in Oklahoma City for more than 30 years. His coverage of news, features and sports assignments has taken him across the state and country. Growing up in Oklahoma City in the 1960s & 70s, everyone knew a local naturalist/herpetologist named Bob Jenni, who would make TV and public appearances all over the state.
Gooch was always fascinated with the way Mr. Jenni could handle alligators, rattlesnakes, cobras and many other animals. He had dreams of becoming a herpetologist, however, his mother had a strict "no snakes" rule. So, photography was Gooch's career choice. He took photos for Northwest Classen High School's yearbook and newspaper, studied photography at the University of Central Oklahoma and worked at The Oklahoman on a part-time basis. In 1979, he wanted to start taking photos like you see on Navy recruiting posters (FYI-never trust a recruiter named "Speedy"). After three years assembling and testing underwater mines instead of taking pictures, he moved back to Oklahoma City as a photojournalist and has worked for The Oklahoman since 1982. Gooch enjoys keeping and photographing pythons as a hobby, and his images have appeared in national and international reptile magazines.