December 30th, 2013

Obituary: John Dominis, Prolific LIFE Photographer, 92

© John Dominis/Time Inc/Courtesy of the Monroe Gallery

© John Dominis/Time Inc/Courtesy of the Monroe Gallery

John Dominis, who photographed sports, politics, celebrities and culture as a staff photographer at LIFE from the 1950s to the 1970s, died December 30 at his home in New York City,  Life.time.com reports. He had recently undergone heart surgery, according to a website set up by his companion, Evelyn Floret.

In his time at LIFE, Dominis covered  five Olympic Games, capturing the iconic photo of medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos making the Black Power salute on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, as well as President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 speech in Berlin, the Woodstock Festival in 1968 and President Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972. Dominis said, “The great thing about working with LIFE was that I was given all the support and money and time, whatever was required, to do almost any kind of work I wanted to do, anywhere in the world. It was like having a grant, a Guggenheim grant, but permanently.”

For our full obituary, including information on Dominis’s photo editing work and where his images are on view now, see  PDNOnline.com.

*Photo: “Mickey Mantle Having a Bad Day at Yankee Stadium, New York,” 1956.  © John Dominis/Time Inc/Courtesy of the Monroe Gallery

October 3rd, 2013

Obituary: Photographer Bill Eppridge, LIFE Photographer, Sixties Chronicler, Age 75

© Bill Eppridge. Courtesy Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

© Bill Eppridge. Courtesy Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Bill Eppridge, who photographed Robert Kennedy’s campaign and assassination, The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock and countless other major stories for LIFE Magazine, Sports Illustrated and other publications,  died early this morning of complications from an infection. He was 75. Eppridge’s death was confirmed by Michelle Monroe of Monroe Gallery, which represents Eppridge’s work exclusively.

During his 50-year-career, Eppridge photographed many history-making events, but was perhaps most famous for his images that captured the turmoil of the Sixties. One of his most widely seen photos showed presidential candidate Robert Kennedy bleeding on the floor of a hotel kitchen after he was shot, while a panic-stricken hotel busboy cradled his head. In an interview he gave to PDN Edu last year, Eppridge said, “At that point, the moment that gunfire went off, I realized that I was no longer a journalist.” He explained, “I’m a historian.”

To read more, see our obituary of Bill Eppridge on PDNOnline.
PDN will update this story as information about a memorial becomes available.

* Photo above: June 5, 1968. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his wife Ethel (Standing at the podium in the Ambassador Hotel Ballroom. Kennedy was just finishing his California primary victory speech and was moments away from walking into the kitchen where he was shot by Sirhan Sirhan.) Photo © Bill Eppridge. Courtesy Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

September 28th, 2012

On Sustainable Business Models, and Comparing Apples to Oranges

The American Society of Media Photographers’ program, “Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists,” held September 27 in New York City, can be viewed online via ASMP’s video library. Speakers and panelists provided useful context and insights into the current marketplace for photography, as well as thoughts on how professional freelancers might adapt their marketing and licensing in today’s economy. A warning, however: Along with provocative insights, the afternoon panel also included the predictable, banal observation that photojournalists have no role to play now that “everyone has a cellphone,” and statistics on how many images are uploaded to Facebook or Instagram each day or each hour or each minute. If you’re like me, you find these comments irritating. Because the first comment is untrue, and the second is irrelevant to any discussion of the professional photography business.

Yes, news editors trolled Instagram to get images of the aftermath of the Empire State Building shooting, but those image sales had no impact on the market for photos by professional news photographers: If amateur cellphone users hadn’t been on the scene, we simply wouldn’t have had any images of the carnage. Yes, a zillion snapshots of cats, babies and plates of food are shared on social media every day. What bearing does that have on what a professional photographer offers to clients or their audience? (more…)