A documentary series by Randi Lynn Beach
Explore the creative process behind iconic photographers in their own words.
Watch the reel (3:03)
Eliott Erwitt finds inspiration in the little things, specifically little dogs. Mr. Erwitt has traveled the globe in pursuit of his craft as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, artist and filmmaker. But he is perhaps best known for his humorous photographs of dogs and their owners. He has published numerous books on the subject including Dog Dogs, To the Dogs and Son of Bitch. He lives and works in New York City.
Eddie Adams has photographed 13 wars, including Vietnam. Mr. Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for a photograph of Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner.Since 1988, he had organized an annual photography workshop, where professionals welcome newcomers to the craft. In September 2004 he passed away at the age of 71 due to complications from Lou Gehrig's disease.
David Fahey, gallery director, has been a fine art photography art dealer in Los Angeles since 1975. The Fahey/Klein Gallery represents and works with such notable photographers as Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralph Gibson, Bruce Weber, Peter Beard, and Edward Weston among many others. Mr. Fahey began his career as a music photographer, but ultimately got his foot in the gallery door by conducting over sixty interviews with selected internationally known fine art photographers.
Ruth Bernhard met Edward Weston in 1935, whose work exposed her to the potential of photography as art. Bernhard's work has been included in the permanent collections of major museums and universities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Mexico, and has been published worldwide. Bernhard is widely admired for her collection of work on the female nude, embodying classical and sculptural ideals of beauty. Ms. Bernhard passed away December 18, 2006 at the age of 101.
How high is up? Duane Michals has always been self motivated. "I operate out of my own curiosity. You've got two choices, doing or bullshit. Most people bullshit" Mr. Michals began his career as a graphic designer. However during a trip to Russia at the age of 26 he started taking pictures and discovered he was a natural. He says not going to photography school was his saving grace. "If I had gone to photography school I would have learned the rules, and unlearning is the worst thing."
Jerry Uelsmann born in Detroit, Michigan, says he's in a weak position to complain. He's a self-proclaimed happy man, currently retired from teaching and lives with his wife, Maggie Taylor, in Gainesville, Florida.
Arnold Newman doesn't like labels, but if you had to give him one it would be "Father of the Environmental Portrait." At a time when others were relying solely on formal studio settings, Mr. Newman chose to photograph his subjects in their natural environment. He has photographed many of the most interesting personalities of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso, John F. Kennedy and Igor Stravinsky. Mr. Newman passed away at the age of 88 on June 6, 2006.
Sheila Metzner has spent her career looking for the mythical in ordinary life. While raising her five children, Metzner built a body of work under the tutelage of mentor Aaron Rose. After nine years she had accumulated 22 pictures, which caught the eye of John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art. Her career took off from there. Ms. Metzner's unique style has positioned her as a contemporary master in the worlds of fine art, fashion, portraiture, still life and landscape.
Andy Summers may be a world renowned musician,, but he started out as a photographer in the English seaside resort where he grew up. Mr. Summers discovered you can only really serve one muse and made a choice between photography and music. He chose music. However he has continued pursuing his fine art photography. In 1983 Mr. Summers published "Throb." Currently he is working on a photography book on guitars with Ralph Gibson.
After Nick Ut's brother, an Associated Press photographer, was killed in Vietnam, he convinced AP to let him work in the darkroom, where he would cry over the photographs he printed. He spent long days in the darkroom before he could eventually take his own pictures. In 1973, Mr. Ut won a Pulitzer Prize for spot news for his photograph "The Terror of War," which depicts children in flight from a napalm bombing. Mr. Ut currently works for the Associated Press in Los Angeles.
David Hume Kennerly got interested in photography when he realized he could get out of class if he took photos for the yearbook. Says Kennerly, "I pawned myself off as a photographer with a lot more experience." After 30 years of documenting history for a living, he doesn't need to fool anyone. Kennerly won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for his work in Vietnam. He served as White House photographer to Gerald Ford and has traveled on assignment to more than 140 countries.
Judd Pilossof was thrown into the fire, so to speak, when he was given the opportunity to photograph a cookbook 15 years ago. His love of cooking, travel and wine has helped turn that opportunity into a successful career. Based in New York, Mr. Pilossof has shot for almost every major advertising agency and food magazine. His most recent book, "A Passion for Chocolate," was published by Meredith Press.
David Hume Kennerly
© Copyright Randi Lynn Beach, 2013