When it Rains, it Pours

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

While I was in Australia, I decided to do a walk about. Invariably, when you start a trek like that, you’re going to run into inclement weather. In a rain forest very close to Cairns, Australia, JoAnne captured me during a storm on my walk about. Ok, if you don’t believe that, raise your hands. Wow, thank God you all raised your hands. JoAnne was shooting an ad campaign and needed a model for a test and used me. Never going to be on the cover of GQ! It was shot right outside the studio, the studio lights were still inside, obviously being protected by the rain????? It’s a special type of rain, it’s called hose rain. Sometimes a photo isn’t what it appears to be. But I do try to keep my sense of humor. I did get the hat and coat in Australia. It’s pretty amazing stuff, it’s an oil cloth. I hope it still fits. To all the ships at sea, keep your powder dry, your legs crossed, and a bit of lip gloss never hurt anybody.

 

You’ll Never Know?

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

While teaching a class that started at Grand Central Station and ended at Times Square I had one camera and one lens, a 16-35. Did not imagine I’d be doing any portraits. Even though the 16-35 is not a portrait lens, this is an environmental portrait of a gentleman from London. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Art By Wheeler

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Dennis Wheeler is one of the finest artists in America today. He has to his credit: his work is in the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art, and his artwork is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. When he talks about Andy, he’s not talking about Andy Rooney; he’s talking about Andy Warhol. He also has 40 Time covers to his credit. He’s one of the smartest and most creative people I’ve ever met. Extremely bright, creative, and quite humble. If you ever have an opportunity to be in Hillsdale, stop by his gallery. It’s absolutely awesome. And he makes a mean martini! How bad could it be?

Have a great day, Joe D signing off.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

JoAnne and Richie

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

To all the ships at sea, I remember the first time that JoAnne photographed Richie Havens at a great club called My Father’s Place. What was so outrageously cool about clubs like that is that you could be literally five feet from a superstar. So for the cost of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, life was great; at least before the no photograph rules. I remember I was so jealous; I was in California and she was with Richie. Richie invited JoAnne and her friend into the dressing room, signed some autographs, and was just plain Richie, which means he was just a great guy with a  great attitude; never a prima donna. Super voice and super guitar.

One of the Greatest Bass Guitar Players of All Time

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

Sometimes we do not appreciate a particular photograph on a particular day. I would like to think that every photograph taken by everybody (not just me) is extremely important in that particular moment in history. Unfortunately, sometimes that moment becomes blurred or it’s forgotten…for whatever reason.  My day started out as an “off” day, until a close friend and neighbor knocked on my door and said he needed to set up a shoot. His name was Doug Stegmeyer. Doug’s mom lived four houses down and still does. A great pianist and a great piano teacher. That’s probably where Doug got the beginning of his chops. His brother Al, also a good friend of mine, was a music engineer. Doug wanted some head shots done and I said OK, how about about  in a week or two? He said, he needed them done today.

So I reset the lights in the studio, broke out some Kodachrome and told him to get a couple changes of clothes and come back in two hours, which he did. In my opinion Doug was a multi-layered person. On stage he was an absolute dynamo. He could play with the best of them, and he did. He was Billy Joel’s bass guitar player for a long time with world-renowned drummer, Liberty Devitto, they grew up together. It’s amazing how music and photography go together. Way before MTV, Hullabaloo, Soul Train and the Dick Clark Show, music and images were always married together. Think of Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. At the end of the shoot, I broke open a bottle of white wine and he handed me a list of people he wanted the photographs to go to. Which, to be honest, seemed a little odd at the time. But in reality, none of that’s important. Off stage, he was an extremely warm, gentle, loving person. Put him in the studio and his eyes lit up. One day he gave me a lecture on microphones. Yes, it was a little above my head.

To get to Doug’s studio we passed what seemed like an infinite number of gold records. To be honest, there may have been a lot more sides of Doug than I ever knew. He spent a lot of time on the road. And the road for both photographers and musicians can be kind, exciting and sometimes very cruel. Doug’s brother Al called me the other day and asked me if I had any photos of his brother. I said, yes but they’re buried in the archives of over a million still images between JoAnne and myself. He asked me if I’d take a look and I said…OK…but it’s going to take a month. What never ceases to amaze me is JoAnne’s grasp of not only her photography but her editing and skills in organization. She managed to find them in less than 2 hours. I’d like to share a few with you. Just three different sides of a very complicated, brilliant and amazing individual; who unfortunately moved on to another level of consciousness too early.

Tech Info: NikonF, 105mm lens, Kodachrome 64, 1/90th of a second at 5.6, mixed light (daylight and dynalight), Black and White converted in NIKs software

I’ll follow this up in a couple of months when I get through the artwork.

WALK IN PEACE

All the best,

Joe D

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2013 Is Almost Here Happy New Year Everyone

DiMaggio & Scott Melanson2012 Started off better than I could ever expect. My partner JoAnne’s cell phone rang and much to her surprise it was our dear friend and greatest living artist of our time, Will Barnet. I could not think of a better way to start 2012 then to receive a phone call from him – it was very special for both of us. Will Barnet is not only a great artist but a great teacher, mentor and one of the kindest most generous people that God put on this planet. We were planning on having lunch with Will after we returned from the F1 race in Austin Texas but on the flight to Austin we found out that Will had passed away the day before. With the upcoming New Year it’s a bittersweet memory that will remain very dear to us.

To start out this New Year – yesterday, my partner JoAnne and I got a surprise visit from our former studio manager Scott who flew in from Minnesota for Holiday time with his family and brought us some really good news. He just landed a position as product designer for Sportech Inc, working with almost every ATV, Snowmobile and Recreational Vehicle company in the US. We’re so very happy for him.

Another piece of good news is that yesterday our Federal Express truck picked up a 20×24 inch photo of Will Barnet destined to be part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. I know Will Barnet looked down with that beautiful smile and was very happy for JoAnne as it was his favorite. In the world of photography it doesn’t get better than that. I’m extremely proud and happy for JoAnne as well as being a little jealous. How wonderful this is for her. JoAnne has a great talent but has always been a little to understated so I choose to sound off for her.

Artist Will Barnet © JoAnne kalish  All Rights Reserved

Artist Will Barnet © JoAnne kalish All Rights Reserved

We’re looking forward to a great 2013 and more good news. To certain friends and you know who you are – you’re in my prayers. Happy New Year to All – Joe DiMaggio

Will Barnet 1911- November 13 2012

Will Barnet with Joe DiMaggio & JoAnne Kalish Naples Museum of Art © 2007 Mike Peters

As a man or woman makes the journey from birth to death along the way they meet people who change their life. It’s  given with our parents and family. There are maybe 8 or 10 people who radically changed the direction of my life other than my parents of course .  Today I will just talk about one –  Will Barnet who passed away November 13 at age 101.

My partner JoAnne Kalish had an assignment to photograph Will and she did these amazing and iconic portraits of Will and they became close. One day Will invited us to lunch and on that day I learned more about art, art appreciation and art history in a very short period of time then any other time in my life.

There will only be one Will Barnet  – He was a warm, kind, generous, exceptionally talented, and a humble human being.  I’ve been known to say the greatest things in life are free. On New’s Years Day 2012 Will Barnet gave us a million dollar gift by merely calling to wish us a Happy New Year.  My God does it get better than that?