Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Photographic Prints Make an Impact

Bill Cunningham of The New York Times
I've always been a fan of sharing photographic prints.  Almost gone are the days where we shoot, print and share our photos.  Shooting and sharing is just too easy with an email - but does it really have the same feel - no way!  
Anybody you email a photo to probably looks at the image for under two seconds and then moves onto the next email or task at hand. 
Do you ever reach back into old mail from a month ago or a year ago or five years ago and say wow - I love that shot - I'm so glad Susie sent it to me!  I doubt it.  But with a print you may have it in a drawer or in a frame or on the fridge and when you pass by it the memory is fresh and the feeling is good.
I happen to print a lot and try to share a lot to keep this feeling alive.
Recently I got around to sending some photos to The New York Times attn: Bill Cunningham.  For those of you who do not know who Bill is, you can watch a documentary about him on Netflix called - http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/billcunninghamnewyork/

You can also look at his huge archive of unique fashion and city related stories on The Times' site - 

Bill is a NYC fashion legend known for his blue jacket and riding his bicycle almost everywhere he goes - even now when he will be 84 on March 13th.

I sent Bill a few shots I took of him in action at the Jazz Lawn Festival.  To my great surprise I received a hand written thank you note from him!  I'm not raving about the note - but about the feeling of receiving in essence a "printed" note rather than an email as a thank you (yes he had my email as well).  The warmth of a letter is so much stronger than an email. 

Now I'm not much of a paparazzi type shooter - but I couldn't resist capturing Bill right in front of me.  He is truly into the fashion and energy of events like this and he seems to find great joy in mixing it up with all the people at the events he attends.  People rave about being snapped by Bill - not even knowing if their image will ever see the light of day beyond a hard drive or contact sheet.  His presence is that strong on the streets of Manhattan.
He is ever present yet my sense is he prefers to observe and enjoy and not engage.  The camera is his link to the event.

Think about how you can make an impact with your images and perhaps you will want to share more pictures in a printed form with your friends, family and even strangers you see on the street.  Pay it forward.

 Hard to miss Bill in that trademark blue jacket.
How wonderful and amazing is it to read that note from Bill?

There was another occasion when I almost bumped into him and that was at the annual Fifth Avenue Easter Parade.

1 comment:

  1. So awesome that you got to document "the man" in action. The film as well as the body of work that bill has given us is amazing!
    I'd also like to thank you for sharing so many prints of all our adventures! After all my computers and hard drives die - the only images left will be of us partying like rock stars!


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