Somewhere around a dozen years ago, I was photographing a great boxer by the name of James Moore. I asked James who I had to talk to to get credentials and he said, “Call Bob Mladinich.” Which I did, (I was 100% sure I didn’t know who Bob Mladinich was.) So, we started with some small talk and he said, “Do you remember me?” and I said, “No.” He said, “You know my brother Charlie, and I was in you home with Gerry Cooney many years ago in the 1980s”.
Bob Mladinich is one of the most amazing people that God put on this earth. When he walks into a room he makes quite a presence. I believe he is 6’7″. My god, he’s a big man. I call him “Big Bob” and he calls me “Big Joe.” I’m a peanut compared to him. I remember one Saint Patty’s day, we were shooting a fight at Madison Square Garden and we were close to the beginning of the fight when the door opened up and Bob walked in and about 2,000 people took a breath. As I said; great writer, great detective, great father, he’s just one amazing individual.
I decide I’m going to watch “The Irishman” with some little known director like Martin Scorsese starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and yes, Bob Mladinich and his dear friend Larry Mazza. We all worked together on several short films on the Mafia a few years ago. I vividly remember the Albert Anastasia murder in New York, at the Park Sheraton Hotel on 56th street and 7th Avenue. Bob played Albert Anastasia’s body guard, and he absolutely stole the scene. He went from a gold shield detective on the NYPD to a body guard. Life is really amazing. You can’t make this stuff up.
It never ceases to amaze me how much I don’t know about a particular person or event. Oh my God, after three decades? I just had the pleasure of doing an interview with my dear friend Gerry Cooney on his SiriusXM radio show. If you have a few minutes I think you will thoroughly enjoy the interview. It’s serious, light, funny, and most of all very truthful. When Gerry and John Grady wrote the book, I presumed that it was going to be a typical boxing book. It’s not! Gerry shares not only the good, but the bad, and the ugly about how he became the number one contender for the heavyweight crown. I’d like to thank them both for allowing me to illustrate the book cover to cover. It was a privilege. Now anybody who knows me, knows that I can be pretty meticulous when it comes to my work. Each photograph was as close to the “p-word” as possible, all done in full color. The publisher made the decision to gang the artwork and converted everything to black and white. I was not a happy camper! Hopefully on the next edition they will allow me to redo the artwork in black and white so it’s crisp, clean, and sharp. Gentleman Gerry, a contender in the ring, a champion in recovery, and my dear friend. Below you can listen to the interview
To all the ships at sea, Khalid “Pure Gold” Twaiti just won his sixth gold in a row. His record is now 6 wins, 3 knockouts, and 0 losses. I just had the opportunity to photograph Khalid Twaiti, AKA “Pure Gold”, in Brooklyn winning his sixth consecutive gold at 127 pounds. I started photographing Khalid when he was eight years old. He is now 23. My god, he’s come a long way. There is no doubt in my mind, in the next twenty to thirty-six months, Khalid will be champion of the world. I have no doubt about it. He is totally dedicated to his boxing. His trainer, Don Saxby, the two of them are like my brothers. When we get together there is lots of talk about spirituality, positivity, and the beauty of differences. I really don’t want to be dramatic but Khalid, Don, and myself are opposite in many ways. Boxing, is not necessarily the thread that binds us together. The three of us are radically different, yet we are true brothers. Maybe, just maybe, the rest of our brothers and sisters should take a lesson and, just maybe, we will have a better world. (I hope this is not too mushy). As my friend Willy Nelson would say, “I’ll see you on the road soon”. -Joe DiMaggio
Growing up in Greenwich Village the only prejudice in my family was the disdain of cats. Like most prejudices it comes from what you hear as young person. I was taught to love all fellow human beings and treat them equally as we are all brothers and sisters. Approximately 30 years ago, and because our son wanted one, we adopted a cat and I fell in love. His name was Mask.
Fast forward a number of years…while running back and forth from the studio the other day to my old office, which was severely back lit, I came out and discovered our most recent cat Mia sitting watching me with a huge amount of sidelight. I quickly grabbed my Xt3 with a 50mm lens already on it. You know what they say less is more…
To All the Ships at Sea and to My Friends and Family
On Monday October 21st at 7:30 PM eastern standard time, on SiriusXM Fight Nation 156 radio, I will be interviewed by Gerry Cooney and Randy Gordon about Gerry’s new book written by Gerry and John Grady.
The name of the book is GENTLEMAN GERRY – A CONTENDER In the Ring A CHAMPION in Recovery. Over my career, I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to many books. This one is quite special to me. With no plan Gerry and I took this trip together. At the time there was no rhyme or reason. When Gerry and John asked me to illustrate the book I was obviously honored. This book is unlike any Sports or Boxing book you’ve ever read. It takes you deep into Cooney’s personality, the difficulties he’s had, and how he’s addressed them and beat his demons. We all have baggage take it from me, I have plenty. It’s all about how we deal with it. It should be a very entertaining interview.
Please tune in Monday October 21st at 7:30 PM eastern on SiriusXM Fight Nation 156.
Acknowledgements – “We also thank the legendary photographer Joe DiMaggio (http://joedimaggiophoto.com) for providing all of the photos found in our book. Your professionalism, support, and contributions are cherished – and your friendship even more so.”
By now you probably know that I have a deep abiding love for not only photography but my family and my friends; and I count Cuba as one of my friends. The Cuban people are absolutely amazing. there’s so much more there than just old automobiles and cigars. Both JoAnne and myself will probably be doing our last commercial photo trip to Cuba. That is not cast in bronze. Please don’t quote me, but if you reside in the better part of 40 states, there’s a good possibility that your home, driveway and front yard may look a little bit like the above photo in January. If you would like to join us and avoid the miserable weather, I think it will be an awful lot of fun, extremely rewarding, and a trip you will never forget.
“I must say, that from all the pictures ive edited of this tragedy, this quickly rises to the top.” – Charlie Borst
To all the ships at sea,
It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since the attack on the World Trade Center. September 11th, 2001. While I was living in New York City they put up the World trade Center and half the people in the West Village were unhappy. It messed up the radio signals and television signals, and originally it was considered an eye sore.
Well, you get a little older and wiser and you realize how beautiful those two buildings were. A very dear friend of mine and the son of the greatest editor I ever had, Sally Lloyd and Richard Steedman went on to open the stock market which in my opinion was the greatest stock agency. The son of Sally is Andre Llyod, his father is Harvey Lloyd, one of the greatest photographers of our time. Andre was married with his first wife in the towers, and JoAnne and I stayed at the Marriott. Less than a year later, it would have be destroyed. I was finishing an 8 mile run and an automobile pulled up and said “Did you hear? A plane just hit the twin towers.” I could already visualize a plane hitting it. I was a half mile from my home, I got there in enough time to turn the TV on and see the 2nd plane hit the other tower. It was a terrible feeling. I looked at my camera bag, started to make a dash for it and realized that it was just not going to happen. 70 miles from Battery Park, not going to happen.
I would like to share with you what I consider one of the greatest photos ever taken today, in a candle light vigil for the 3000 brothers and sisters who died on that tragic day. The photo was taken by JoAnne Kalish. One frame, one shot on Kodachrome. The only thing I had to do with the photo was to edit it because JoAnne had driven to an assignment in Boston six days later.
Here’s the photo of a very dear friend of mine, Terry Patrick Farrell.
I have known several unbelievable studio photographers. Names such as Yousuf Karsh, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn. Studio photographers are control freaks but in a good way. They control the lighting on the subject matter, the foreground, and the background. They control depth-of-field, shutter speed, and aperture. All of which translates into making a great photograph.
I have never considered myself a studio studio photographer, however, I do consider myself a great location studio photographer. I decided on Labor Day to spend 6 or so hours in my location studio. Reason being is that I wanted to generate some new work, try out some things, and I did it for the shear enjoyment and fun of it! I’d like to share them with with you. It wasn’t originally in the plan, but it is now. This is just one way I like to spend my time off.
Both JoAnne and I have been blessed that we have traveled the world for the last five decades. Literally around the world not once, but twice. We both received out doctorate degrees in people, places, events and understanding our fellow men and woman. One of the smallest places we visited was the little island of Cuba. We’re old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and then the Bay of Pigs and JFK. Well guys, that was 50+ years ago. Regardless of what anybody believes, whether the island was Communist or Socialist, the Cuban people are absolutely wonderful. They are extremely hard working, most of them have 2 or 3 jobs and it appears that they all have on thing in common; they really love the USA. Let me be clear, I love my country. It’s not a perfect republic but it’s one of the longest standing republics in the history of mankind. The one thing you never want to do (unless you’re a hardcore photojournalist) is never get involved with politics. Scratch that, hell if you’re a hardcore photojournalist you don’t get involved either. I guess I’m forgetting my roots, the Cuban people are the most educated Spanish speaking people in the world. The doctors are phenomenal, the artists are great, the rum well, lets not talk about the rum, I’m cutting back on my daily intake of alcohol. I don’t smoke Cuban cigars but they are the best in the world.
Both JoAnne and I will take you on and adventure on this little tiny island in Cuba. Please join us on January 20th to Jan 27th 2020.
To all the ships at sea, Whether you like it or not, boxing has been a large part of my repertoire as applicable to photography, filmmaking and writing. I never planned on it, I never went out of my way to promote it. It just seemed to happen. It may have had something to do with my grandfather taking me to a very big fight back at the old Madison Square Garden. The tiny island of Cuba has given us a plethora of great amateur and professional boxers. On my last two trips to Cuba, I managed to get close to a few of the old timers who are training the new up and coming Cuban pugilists. When I’m shooting at gyms in los Angeles, Chicago and New York, I always complain about the lights. The lighting is terrible, horrific, miserable and in some cases impossible when when you’re shooting. In Havana I’d kill for the light in any of these areas. The trainers are great, the boxers are great, the lighting does not exist. Yes I could use an on-camera strobe, but no, I’m not going to do that, and no I can’t bring in-studio strobes. Not ever gonna happen.
Both JoAnne and I have a great photographic workshop in January. Boxing will be one part of our trip. Hope to see you there.