Hugh Brodie’s Birthday Party

To all the Ships at Sea,

© Joe DiMaggio

I’m the luckiest guy in the world.  I have great friends all over the world from all walks of life! One of my older friends is Hugh Brodie who is a great musician, singer, writer, and plays one helluva Sax.  The hell with rock and roll.  The women all love him!

Brodie was dealt a bad hand.  His last visit to the hospital the Dr. gave him less than 6 months.  That was 18 months ago. The last time we visited Brodie he didn’t look good. Much to my surprise, for his Birthday celebration he not only looked great but sounded great. It may not have been Carnegie Hall but it was fabulous to have been there.

Brother Brodie we will always love you!  Here’s a short clip from the day




© JoAnne Kalish

Hugh Brodie © Joe DiMaggio

THE BORSCHT BELT by Marisa Scheinfeld

Book by Marissa Scheinfeld

To All the Ships at Sea

My studio manager heard me talking about a book by Marisa Scheinfeld. Suddenly what appeared under my tree was Marissa’s book which was a wonderful gift. Now to give you a little background.  Marissa’s dad Barry has been my sports medicine Doctor for the last three decades.  A great Doctor and aka Dr. Blues.  What I find unbelievable is that last week was Hugh Brodie’s birthday and my next blog is going to be what transpired at this party.  You can’t make this up.  Marisa as an aspiring photographer who came to my studio and delivered Jazz man Hugh Brodie for a portrait session for his new album.  It is a small world.  Here it’s many years later and she’s not only an accomplished photographer but now has a great book of her own as well.  It’s all about history.  Here is a link to an e mail I just received

This was part of an e mail from Marisa – On this very snowy East Coast winter’s day, I hope this finds you well! I am happy to announce a second leg of book talks extending through July of 2017. Dates are still being added including a series of events slated for the Catskill region this summer and a major exhibition in 2018. More to follow in my spring/summer newsletter.

Chromogenic Prints from the entire series are available in multiple sizes. For more information about print sales, book events, and exhibitions please message me.

Until then, stay warm and well and I hope to see you at a book talk!


February 12: JCC Manhattan, New York, NY
February 15: JCC Mid-Westchester, Scarsdale, NY *
March 17: Temple Israel, Lawrence, NY
April 2: Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA

Book by Marissa Scheinfeld
April 3: Archaeological Institute of America, Scarsdale, NY
April 29: Orangeburg Library, Orangeburg, NJ
April 30:  Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Potomac, MD
May 17:  New York Public Library, New York, NY
June 7: JCC Central NJ, Scotch Plains, NJ
July 16: Catskill Center, Arkville, NY



Super Bowl LI

My dear friend Mark Joseph and I (by the way Mark, an absolutely great writer, has been on the New York Times Best Seller list a few times) decided we’d bet on the Superbowl, World Series, championship fights and even elections. We no longer talk about elections. Persona non grata, but whatever. He just mailed me a 100 peso note from our last bet on the World Series. Better late than never Mark! The note inside said, “I’ll take the Falcons and the points -Mark.” Mark insisted on taking the Falcons. I wanted the Falcons! The only way this bet was going to happen was Mark’s way, not my way. Great writer, but he’s an egotistical son of a bitch. He earned his ego the hard way. He followed up with an email saying the final score would be New England Patriots 28- Falcons 3. I wrote him back and said bull, the final score would be Atlanta Falcons 28- New England 24. I turned the game off right when Lady Gaga came out and the score was 28-3. Please see the email I sent to Mark:

Hi Mark,

I want to be perfectly clear. The final score for the Super Bowl was the Atlanta Falcon’s 28   Patriots 3.  That was the final score. Waking up this morning it’s pretty obvious that the media took it upon themselves (dirty, rotten, cheating media) took it upon themselves to make up this bullshit that the game went into overtime.  Preposterous and another media lie!

Having said that I will be putting your 100 pesos in the mail.  Obviously I have to do the honorable thing.

Concussions aren’t everything in this world. Remember what Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca.  Are you an American?  His answer was I’m a drunkard.  


Joe D”

The reason I’m not a professional gambler is I got ready to put the 100 pesos to Mark and realized he took the Falcons and the points. Even though I didn’t want to win, I won. I guess I’ll wait another three months for my next 100 pesos. Gonna have to wait to buy another bottle of tequila!

© JoAnne DiMaggio

Third Trip to Sloan Is A Charm

Only a few dozen close friends have received this, so try and keep it confidential. (Sh, Sam Garcia!) 

Wow, it’s really great to have friends with a great sense of humor and thank God I still have mine!

All the best,

Samantha (aka Joe D)

© JoAnne Kalish

Just so there are no surprises, he has apparently undergone sex re-assignment surgery, and successfully as you can see him in this photo he sent, walking around in what apparently is his first simple shift/dress…! 

(Perhaps this is part of the psychological process I know these patients also undergo…?)

I’m sure you have questions, but unfortunately I can’t answer them. You now know what I know.

For example, I really can’t say if he’ll switch to ‘Josephine’, although logic might support that guess.

And no I don’t know how long he’ll be in the hospital. (Again, logic tells us cutting things off is probably easier to recover from than adding things on.)

I know some of you will find this difficult to adapt to, but I’m sure as soon as he…, errr…, I mean as soon as SHE begins to shave you’ll probably find this easier to accept.

So let’s try and be welcoming when SHE gets back out in the civilian population.

I think I’m going to get her a subscription to VOGUE.

She definitely needs more clothing ‘style’ to pull this off.

And makeup.

Oh god…and support hose…

© JoAnne Kalish

Frankly, between the berets and the pedicures I suppose we should have all seen this coming…


P.S. He left out my earring and my purse!

Happy Birthday, Hugh Brodie


© Joe Dimaggio

Approximately 25 years ago, I walked into a cocktail party with 300+ people. On the other side of the room as far as I could see was a tall, thin, gorgeous gentleman with bright white hair. He stood about 6 or 7 inches above everybody else. I worked my way through the crowd and walked up to a total stranger by the name of Hugh Brodie, the ultimate jazzman. His cousin was Ella Fitzgerald. It’s one of the very few times I started a conversation by saying, “You’re absolutely one of the most amazing people I have ever seen, would love to have you come into my studio and have you do an environmental portrait.” That was the start of a quarter of a century friendship which is as strong today as it was then. He’s my brother and I love him. Tomorrow, 20 or 30 musicians are going to get together and play for his birthday at The Roscoe Nursing Home/Rehab in Roscoe, New York.

One minute video of my brother Hugh Brodie and I.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

My Son

© Joe DiMaggio

A short note to my son Joseph.  I loved you with every fiber in my being and still do.  I think about you at least 30 or 40 times a day. There’s no doubt I was never a good enough father and that’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life.

You would have been 49 this year.  I miss you and will always love you.

Your Dad


Tulips and Mias Lips

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

I usually come home with fresh flowers at least once a week. It’s a luxury that JoAnne and I really enjoy. Well, this week she beat me to it and brought home some beautiful tulips that were very tightly closed. I looked at them and watched Mia, our kitten, who decided to eat one of the tulips- I guess it’s a kitten thing. I decided to move them to another geography. There I saw some backlight and took some photos, then decided to segregate one tulip and make a few more photos. Think of it this way: it’s springtime in January. I normally don’t photograph flowers, but what the hell- I’m having a little bit of fun.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

January 18th: Somebody’s Birthday

© Sam Garcia

To all the ships at sea,

As I’ve told you many times, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. 95% of all my friends are artists, photographers, blues and jazzmen, writers, poets, sculptors, boxers, and occasionally a copyright attorney. I’ve had a very long friendship with Sam Garcia. As a matter of fact, it goes back six decades. Well, we know that’s impossible because I’m only 29 years old… so obviously, I’ve misspoken. Sam, a very fine photographer, sometimes tends to continuously remind me of things. Maybe he feels that he has a responsibility to me. Hell, maybe that’s a good thing. The photo in the blog is a candid shot of Jay Maisel, copy written by Sam Garcia. I’m pretty sure that everybody who reads this blog knows who Jay is- one of the finest photographers in the last six or seven decades. And today, he’s 39 years old. Well Jay, wishing you one hell of a great birthday. Give Sam a hug and a squeeze for me.

Zero Degrees or %@*!!$ Cold!

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

If you’re anywhere near the East coast, you’ll know that it was beautiful. Then it got cold, then brutally cold, and then the ice came. Well last spring I packaged up all of my winter garb and I put it someplace. Did I write it down in the computer? No. Did i put a label on it? no. Did I put it in the same place? No. I found it, but I found it very, very late. In photography, I’ll tell you “standardization and simplification” – simple, clean, elegant. Also, repeatability. You should be able to go to your insurance shot and as soon as that’s done you should be able to throw caution to the wind and be able to do some crazy fun stuff. Oh yeah you’ve gotta have fun with it. Its all about fun and hopefully generating a new image, or maybe new just for you. New hasn’t been done in 40 years. So when it comes to protecting the cameras, we do that. Or I do it. Make sure they’re all in the trunk so that they’re all the same temp as outside. Tripods, the same thing. Clothes, the same thing. Three, four, five layers. Headgear, eargear, nosegear and gloves. Well, I couldn’t find my stuff so I borrowed some of JoAnne’s scarves and stuff. Not good. The lesson is pretty simple. Repeatability- put it in the same damn place all the time and if you think you’re gonna meed it in January then get it ready in September. Attached are a few photos… yes, I found my stuff. Want to know where it was? The last place I looked! It’s always in the last place I look, think about it.

© Joe DiMaggio; words by Sam Garcia. Where are the two right gloves?

Everybody knows that I’m a Canon photographer, so I very rarely get specific about a camera and a lens. In this particular case I’m going to talk a little but about it, I took out my Canon 5D Mark IV, the 100-400 zoom, a relatively midrange Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, two batteries and two extra cards. That’s it, nothing else other than my trusty cell phone. When climbing on the ice, you really want to have a cell phone with you. What I forgot was that the night before I had a house guest and that he plugged his phone into my charger. Where am I going with this? Well, you know where I’m going with this. It starts to snow and it snows very heavily. I’m not paying attention, I’m just shooting. I’m not making excuses, I’m just explaining. I looked down and the camera was covered in a beautiful coating of white snow and the lens had white snow. It was kind of a pretty picture. Then I looked down to see my itsy bitsy camera bag covered in snow. I reached into my pocket to take a photograph with my iPhone and up popped a thermometer saying “aint gonna happen fella, you dont got enough juice.” It’s one of those snapshots that I have in my brain but not in my other camera- get it? My other camera? I believe an iPhone is a phone, not a camera… other people, not so much. Again, preproduction is the key to a successful shoot. This includes gloves, mittens, scarves, batteries and yes, a cell phone- if I had fallen,  I would  have needed that phone for more than just taking a snapshot of the snow falling down on the camera and  the lens. Don’t leave anything to chance. Remember- Murphy is sitting on a rock waiting for you.

Hope to see you on the road again,

Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio


Young Pup

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

Back in the day I coined the phrase, “Standardization and simplification,” when it came to photography. Another phrase I coined was, “Shoot it when you see it, because you’ll never go back to photograph it again.” Everything I say is my opinion, not fact- I get it. I was on a Sports Illustrated assignment to photograph the largest white shark that was going to be caught on rod and reel- 3427 pounds (hadn’t been caught yet but they had been fighting it off the coast of Montauk). I had just left a TIME Magazine assignment when a phone call came that told me to go to Montauk. I changed my clothes, my photographic gear, got my foul weather gear and left for the 70 mile drive where I would meet a fishing boat to take me the balance of the 30 miles to get to the fish. Ten minutes after leaving, I realized I left two electronic flash in my darkroom. When it hit me, I lifted my right foot and went to hit the break and said, “No ____ way!” but I kept going. Did I need the flash? Yeah, I think so. Pushed the film anyway, made the photo, and it ran in TIME and accidentally in Newsweek- not my fault. Also the DailyNews and Newsweek. I think somebody syndicated it.

Yesterday, I had a very special appointment in Manhattan. I canceled a shoot to make this appointment. Right before I got to Route 80, I saw a magnificent sunset. (You know what, they’re all magnificent. But this one was special.) I looked to the left, was going 70 mph, looked straight ahead and knew it would be gone in five minutes. I looked and found that there was a turn off for an exit. I hit the brakes, made the turn off, went two blocks and wound up in the parking lot of a bar. No photo. Drove down a very narrow road of very expensive homes; the photo was still up and running but too many trees and homes were in the way. Went another mile down the road, found an opening, got out jumped over a 1 foot fence that said “No trespassing.” I recalibrated the ISO and started to shoot before the first dog came out barking, followed by the second dog barking and doors opening. I went back to car and said, “I knew this was a bad idea..” Drove some more, saw an opening for a PRIVATE YACHT CLUB ENTRY MEMBERS ONLY, but made believe that I didn’t see the sign. I drove another two or three football fields down to the end of this beautiful lake and there was my sunset, waiting for Joe DiMaggio. Also waiting for Joe DiMaggio was a police officer in a shiny new SUV. Did I have my seatbelt on? No. Was it shining? Yes. I made an executive photographic decision and drove past him like I was a member. Got out, recalibrated the ISO and made the photo. First time going back fora photo. Was it worth it? I think so. Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks… woof, woof, woof. Ice photos were thrown in, shot it the day before. Video to follow.

Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio