Gil Ford began his career in photography during the Great Depression at the age of 12, sweeping floors and doing odd jobs for Hiatt Photographic Services located above the Jitney Jungle at 423 1/2 Capitol Street. After a stint in the Pacific with the Navy during World War II, Gil returned to the studio to take on more responsibilities in the business, becoming a partner in 1953. In 1972 Harry Hiatt retired at the age of 88 and the studio became Gil Ford Photography. Later, Gil "Gib" Ford, Jr. joined the studio and became the proprietor after Gil Ford Sr.'s retirement.