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WFLA chief photographer Paul Lamison has died suddenly. He was 57.
“It’s a sad and difficult day as we at News Channel 8 mourn the unexpected loss of Chief Photojournalist Paul Lamison,” the station wrote on Twitter. “We are devastated by the sudden loss of @8_plamison but thankful for everything he brought to our team & for the impact he’s had on us.”
The Tampa NBC affiliate said Lamison died after suffering a heart attack, leaving behind a wife, daughters and several siblings.
Lamison started working at the station in 1993.
It's a sad and difficult day as we at News Channel 8 mourn the unexpected loss of Chief Photojournalist Paul Lamison.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) August 4, 2022
Colleagues, both former and current, talked about the effect Lamison had on their lives.
“Ever since we’ve both been here—and it’s been three decades—he’s here with us and he’s always here,” Operations Manager George Karalekas said. “I guess this might be cliché, but people say you see what you get—and that’s Paul. You see what you get. Fun-loving and he’s got his dad jokes and what he shows on the air is what he’s like in person.”
“I got to spend a lot of time with him because he worked the morning shift with me and we’d go out and shoot stories in the field all the time,” Bloom TV host Gayle Guyardo said. “He was like family—and no matter what the day looked like, Paul was there to lift it up.”
WFLA wrote that Lamison was a “consummate professional” who took pride in telling important stories and “impacted a generation of other journalists along the way.”
“He is a photojournalist beyond measure and just a great person,” said former WFLA anchor Rod Carter. “Beyond all that, he was just a wonderful friend. Even after I left Channel 8 we kept in touch and he was always someone I could depend on.”
“That smile. That tall stature. I’m not even going to lie—when I saw Paul come into something, come into a room, there was going to be jokes and laughs and good times,” said former WFLA photojournalist Indira Levine. “That’s the part that’s hitting me. He was kind of a light. He was a light.”
“I think it’s going to be a big loss for everyone who knew him and even those who didn’t know him, but knew him through his on-air talent,” Karalekas said. “He’s gonna be missed.”