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June 25th, 2007

william klein – I

i had a chance to listen to in person and possibly meet william klein recently. i got a job (how rare) and had to leave town, but i had been really nervous and excited to see him. there was a point when all of his work was still new to me, 1993 is when i found it actually. it changed the way i looked at everything and sure as hell changed the way i looked at everything through a camera. i couldn’t get enough, the guy was awesome. the way he got it in there, composed, and simply made the people almost explode out of his images. it seemed in contrast at the time to everything the photo school was telling me about making pictures and how they should be about the subject and tell a picture story and blah blah blah. it doesn’t matter what you photograph, just get in there, and then make whatever is ‘there’ explode, seemed such a better approach, get lost in the act itself and see what happens.

i have been kinda lucky, i have met or seen in person almost all the photographers who changed me simply by doing what they do and making what they make. it’s always in waves and their relevance and influences always fade or come around again, and for this i thank them all. but these days, the few left that are alive i almost rather wouldn’t meet. now sometimes it kills their work for me and sometimes it raises it. other times it simply wakes me up to path i didn’t see they were on. it isn’t that i worry that meeting them will ruin my feelings of their work, it’s that there are so few people’s photography that touches me so heavily anymore, i will miss knowing that the opportunities to meet or listen to them will be gone, and that longing to get more won’t be there……..

klein is still influencing, just ask john galliano, klein sued him, and won: