Blackie the Photographer, Earnest Gordon "Blackie" Bradford (1921- ) first arrived in Okinawa in August of 1949 while serving in the US Air Force. In 1952 he was discharged from the Air Force and remained on the island. After leaving the service, Blackie worked for the American Photo Service owned by Bert and Lillian Mosher. In 1957 Blackie left American Photo Service and became the manager of the Rycom Plaza office of Keystone Studio in Koza (now Okinawa City).
Following the Battle of Okinawa and the end of World War II in 1945, Okinawa was under United States administration for 27 years. During the trusteeship rule the USAF established numerous military bases on the Ryukyu islands. In 1972, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration.