Wine Gets Better with Age

“I was a young lad when I met Joe and JoAnne, I was a junior (maybe) in high school, showed up at their waterfront house to interview. Thought JoAnne was his daughter, good thing I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say that. They’ve become more of my second family rather than a job, and that’s why I never truly got fired. I processed black and white film and printed,(my 14-year-old asked “whats a darkroom?”) stamped color slides for days on end, drove cool cars, traveled and sat ringside at the Cooney Holmes championship fight. Fished, moved them to the sticks and idealized all they did (almost All). Love you guys dearly, I don’t blog but that’s all”

Andrew started with both JoAnne and myself when he was 15 years old. He loaded my cameras at heavyweight champion fights. Over the years, we all became very close friends and now the relationship has grown into absolute family. He has an extraordinary family, beautiful wife, children and is extremely successful in his business. He has taken photography, his original passion, to a whole new level. He has a brutal schedule. His passion is so strong, that he will drive two hours in one direction, shoot for half an hour and drive three hours back in traffic. Not only to make a great photo, but it becomes a zen like experience.

Of course I told him he was out of his mind to do that. Thank God he doesn’t listen to me all the time. To this day, if I called Andrew and said, I have a 6 figure assignment and I need your help, he would come out of retirement, (there’s no doubt in my mind) he would drop what he was doing and join me anywhere in the world. If I told you once, I told you a thousand times, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. The following two photographs, well they need not be explained. Photo tip for today: take what you really like, turn it into a passion. You’ll make great art, and maybe take a little stress out of your life. His black and white photos motivated me to go out and shoot some serious black and white.

This image is shot in raw, processed w. silver efex pro and Lightroom. Nova Scotia, Peggys Cove, Lighthouse.
Andrew_Coast_Stormy

©Andrew Elrich

©Andrew Ehrlich

All the Best,
Joe D

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Old Friends, New Year, Life Itself

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi to all the ships at sea,

I would like to wish everybody a healthy happy, new year (hey idiot, it’s the 15th-where have you been?!) Sorry guys, the last 45 days have been brutal, and I’m not going to go there today. I decided to take Saturday off, and I went to visit my former English professor/football coach, who has just been admitted to the Stoney Brook VA Nursing Home. It was the best 60 seconds and the worst 19.5 minutes I’ve ever spent in my life. I’ve loved this man for 50 plus years, and I’ve resolved myself to the fact that will be the last time I get to see him. I drove 7 miles to see one of my former assistants, he showed my three photographs that blew my head off. They were just gorgeous. He explained how he did them,why he did them, not that he had to; the photographs did not require any information, they moved me from a very negative place to a very good place. 15 miles west and an hour later, I went to see my oldest friend Pat Nap and he looked great! In the day he was a great football player and a world-class amateur wrestler, and ya know what, he still looks great today. OK-this moves us another hour and a half down the road and I stopped by to see my spiritual advisor, Jess Weiss. We had three or four emails in the last week, and three or four phone calls. His lovely bride of 38 years passed away four weeks ago. I went to see him because he’s my hero. The first time I walked into his office, above his desk was the silver star and ten other medals. I told him he was a true hero. He explained to me that he was a coward. He felt guilty that he left Omaha Beach alive during the D-day invasion and thousands of his brothers did not. Jess has written five books, I strongly recommend reading one of them or more…he’s not only a true hero, but he’s a visionary. He is one of the most spiritual people I have ever met. His 97th birthday is in two weeks and looking into his eyes, I saw a 20 year old man. Thank God for Jess. My life partner JoAnne Kalish reminds me that I’m a photographer and filmmaker and that my blogs should be about photography and filmmaking. This blog IS about communication and respect and history. That’s what photography is. I remember someone telling me, life is hills and valleys. In twelve hours I went from the highest mountain to the lowest peak and back to the highest mountain, so I guess that person was right. LIFE IS PRECIOUS. Please spend every second you can enjoying what you have.

Healthy, happy new year
Joe D

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