A native of San Francisco, Beck graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Institute of Aviation. Licensed to be a commercial pilot, he instead chose to pursue photojournalism after working at the school’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Illini, as photo editor and multimedia producer.
During Beck’s time in college as the multimedia producer, The Daily Illini, won an Online Pacemaker from the Associated Collegiate Press.
In the years following college, Beck lived in 3 different states while completing photography internships at The Naperville Sun, The South Bend Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he documented the disastrous effects of Hurricane Ike and the excitement of the 2008 United States presidential primary campaign.
Beck most recently worked as a staff photographer for the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, Ill. He was honored to receive an Award of Excellence in the 68th annual Pictures of the Year International photo contest for his editorial work made while working for the Northern Illinois newspaper.
In 2010, Diefenbach left his staff photographer position at the Daily Chronicle. After two years of working for the small newspaper, he pursued a freelance career in his home town of San Francisco. During this transition, Diefenbach attended the 23rd annual Eddie Adams Photojournalism Workshop in New York.
Currently, Beck works as a regular contributor to The San Francisco Chronicle, Thomson Reuters News Pictures and the Associated Press. Outside of news photography, Beck also produces wedding photojournalism.
When he is not taking pictures, Beck likes to spend his time volunteering as an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 14, restoring vintage European cars and exploring the Bay Area with his girlfriend Sarah.