Sports Illustrated- JoAnne Kalish

Photo Long Beach Grand Prix © JoAnne Kalish
Long Beach Grand Prix Shunt 31 © J.Kalish

© 1978 JoAnne Kalish Long Beach Grand Prix Mario Andretti and James Hunt

The interesting thing about having two photographers in the family is people ask, do we compete? What a silly question. Oops, I forgot, there are no silly questions. Of course we compete. We’re constantly competing, and we all know who is going to win. In the final analysis,  it certainly won’t be me. My partner JoAnne Kalish is great photographer

I’ll tell you a little story. On the inaugural Formula One auto race in Long Beach, California there were approximately 1500 photographers, each one of them looking for the best position for the start of the race to get the definitive Formula One start shot. Photographers like Neil Leifer who is considered one of the finest sports photographers in our time. Neil has a zillion SPORTS ILLUSTRATED covers. Along with Neil, there was Gary Nichermin, Louis Franck, Kevin Fitzgerald, Mike Phillips, myself, and a small, 101 pound JoAnne Kalish. Everybody marked their positions and waited for the cars to let loose with a burst of 36 exposures. There was a loud noise and the screeching of brakes and smoke all over the place. I followed a car moving to my left along with, I don’t know how many other photographers. At the end JoAnne said “Wow, did you get that shunt?” and I said yes, and everybody else said yes. Later on that evening we went to pick up our film, at the lab, and while there, everybody checked their film out on the light boxes provided. JoAnne opens up her first box of slides, and there was the entire motor series of the shunt at the start of the race, with James Hunt’s car literally on one wheel flipping up in the air, which, by the way, Mario Andretti ran double truck in his coffee table book. JoAnne said, “did you guys get this?” We’re all looking around wondering what she’s talking about and sure enough, she has the whole motor series of this shunt. We didn’t get it, we never even saw it. But she nailed it! That’s JoAnne, small ego, great talent. That was the first photo she had published in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and they ran it again in SI’s YEAR IN PICTURES.

There wasn’t another photographer at the race that captured the shots she got!

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