You spend 30 years perfecting your style, your visual literacy, the way you communicate with people. All of the things that make you a credible photographer and filmmaker. Then you take on the responsibility of a mentor. It is a very serious undertaking. Your students expect you to know all the answers to all the problems. The reality is you don’t know all the answers to all the problems. So who do the mentors go for help? You go to somebody who is smarter than you are and knows virtually everything about not only his products but the competition’s products. That person for me is Rudy Winston. So let’s be clear right now. You’re not getting his phone number or his e mail so let’s get that out of the way.
I’ve known Rudy for over 15 years. He’s not only a fine photographer, great teacher, great tech rep but great husband and father also. Rudy always has a few minutes to make very complicated matters extremely simple. Simple enough for me to understand. I think if Rudy went into politics he’d be able to solve some problems that other people just can’t seem to deal with he’s that good. So when people want to know who I go to – Rudy’s my Go-To guy.
Having said that Rudy has a beautiful daughter and his daughter’s name is Ciana and out of all the wonderful condolence cards and letters I received for my son Joseph, this one stands out. Rudy you did another great job! By the way, thanks to Chuck and Steve for your condolences also.
As a photographer, one of the first things you learn is eye-hand coordination. Your ability to look at 300 people, 7 people, front-lit, back-lit, and see the photo that you want to make. And before you can even think about it, you’ve made 3 or 4, each one a variation of a theme, not just a motor sequence. Making back lit adjustments on the fly, always thing about where the next photograph is going to come. That’s the good news. The bad news can be all of those things that work against you. And you miss the obvious. It’s happened to me before, and I’m pretty sure it’ll happen to me again. You never want to have blinders on. You want to be open to new lighting, new composition, new stories, and new direction. Invariably, you will grow and your work will improve accordingly. While looking at this very beautiful young lady and preparing to do a very shallow, depth of field simple photograph, I look down and to my right and saw one eye and one sideburn and a little bit of a mustache. I said “Oh my god, could that be Melchior DiGiacomo?” I took the photograph, looked down, I tapped him on the shoulder, and he said “Joe D., just a minute”. I guess it’s like two chubby italians meeting in the daylight, or is that two ships in the night? I can never get it right. The funny thing about it is I haven’t seen Melchoir in 30 years. And my god, nothing’s changed! It’s good that there is some consistency in this universe.