Bill Eppridge in a Class By Himself

In my career I have been blessed with a few fortunate lucky right place, right time relationships. The first and foremost was attending the University of Missouri school of Journalism Workshop.  It really doesn’t get better than that. The second would be assisting W. Eugene Smith who taught me more about communications then anyone. Actually, he taught me more about many things but for the purpose of this we won’t go there. When asked to deliver a keynote speech at the NPPA, one of the people I thanked was Bill Eppridge. I would love to tell you that I know Bill well but as the truth be known, that’s just is not so. But here’s what I do know. Bill Eppridge has very few peers. He stands alone with his great talent.  He also has another quality that generally photographers don’t have. He’s an extremely humble about what he’s accomplished over the last few decades and he’s still a viable force to be dealt with. Bill invited me to his retrospective at the Fairfield Museum. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. This past Sunday I had a little time off and decided to go to Fairfield, Connecticut to see the show.  I thought I knew exactly what I was going to see. Boy, was I wrong. I had no idea the depth and scope of his work. Like many other photographers, we know about the positive RFK Photos, but the retrospective truly showed what an amazingly great talent he is. This is one of the few times I wish I was a great writer because there aren’t enough adjectives to express what an important body of work he has. Photographer Alfred Eisenstadt, once told me, he had maybe only a dozen fine photographs.  When I had the audacity to tell him, “no you have thousands of great photographs,” he smiled, clicked his heels and said, “one day you will understand.”
Thanks Bill for continuing to teach me the importance and power of a great still image.

A Good Day- No, a Great Day!

Somebody once said, bad things happen in Threes. Yesterday was the exact opposite. It started out very good, went to great, and became fantastic. Both JoAnne and I had a shoot at the Paul Taylor Dance Company with two world class modern dancers. The shoot was primarily JoAnne’s but I tagged along to help with logistics, security, and shot a short video of her technique. The dancers Cisco Graciano and Michelle Fleet were two wonderfully easy going and talented people.The space was awesome. It doesn’t get better then that. At the end of the shoot, we followed up with a short but great meeting with our publisher Paul Laddin. Our dear friend Monica Cipnic was kind enough to invite us to the Grand Opening Party at Adorama Professional. I’ve been to a lot of parties and this one was over the top. The inspiration and execution fell on the shoulders of Anne Cahill and suffice to say, she did a magnificent job and a good time was had by all. Last but not least, I had an opportunity to catch up with some old friends and made some new ones. It was great to see Bill Eppridge along with his wife Adrienne, there is no doubt Bill is definitively one of the finest photographers in our day and also happens to be a world class gentlemen. As I mentioned to Anne, they don’t make them like this anymore. After all these years, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mendlowitz.  There’s an old Italian word to describe him – Mensch.