“New Photography” on Saatchi Art

There is a rumor out there that my very dear friend and partner are married. I’m not going to comment on that, it is just not my place. When I think of JoAnne, I never think of her as a woman photographer. I think of her as a great photographer. She has a huge talent and a very small ego. I doubt she would put this on her blog but I am going to put it on my blog.

JoAnne was featured on Saatchi Art with one of her iconic photographs.

On behalf of chief curator Rebecca Wilson and the Saatchi Art curation team, I’m very pleased to let you know that your work has been chosen to be featured in the New Photography Collection on Saatchi Art’s homepage. You can see the collection here: http://www.saatchiart.com/art-collection/Photography/New-Photography/722504/148747/view  “

Fanny and Pear ©JoAnne Kalish 72 dpi R e

© JoAnne Kalish

My Saatchi art account can be found through http://www.saatchiart.com/joedimaggio and JoAnne’s can be found through http://www.saatchiart.com/Whatssheupto.


Some Things Never Change


© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

I was in the process of shooting a national ad for Xerox and I was working with a great art director named Bob Green. I desperately wanted to shoot the ad in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but Bob wanted to shoot it in Florida. Guess where we shot it? We shot it where the client wanted it to be photographed. Why? Because he’s paying the bills and it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. Oops! I mean Florida. It was a long, difficult and tedious shoot- one of those shoots where you know you’re going to get only one usable frame out of thirty images. Everything just has to be perfect and, as we all know, there is nothing perfect in this world. Well, maybe something… Pete Turner, Neil Leifer… okay, I’m just trying to be funny. Two really great photographers. The only way we could actually get the angle that the client wanted was to get a hundred and fifty foot crane and go over the high tension wires. So at this point, obviously, I didn’t want to tell Bob Green that I was deathly afraid of heights. The way I get around my problem with heights is to put a camera around my neck, and then I feel I am protected from the elements; it may not work for everybody, but it does work for me. The ad campaign went on to win an Art Director’s award. Bob was happy, the client was happy, the buyer was happy – me, not so much. Welcome to the world of photography, where everything is a compromise.

To all the ships at sea, this is part of a chapter in my new book, “Joe DiMaggio: Recalling My Adventures from the Golden Age to the Digital Age of Photography”.

Some of the most time consuming and frustrating things when it comes to advertising photography are the one, two, and three days of preproduction, the day of test shooting, the selection of models, the half day of wardrobe fitting, waiting for the right light, lens selection, the exact fit into the layout… and when you finally nail it, there’s a combination of the two R’s – rush and relief, rapidly followed by a serious cocktail or maybe two.

Then the artwork goes back to New York, and the art department decides to write the Gettysburg Address on your photograph. I’m pretty sure they could have gotten a few more words in. It’s all good.

Xerox Assignment Saatchi 495

Xerox Ad © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

A Cole Miner’s Daughter… No, that’s not right



While working on an add campaign for a Fortune 500 company, I did an environmental portrait of an American Indian, and they loved it, rapidly followed by an American Cowboy.  We then broke things up by doing a photograph of the Empire State Building on a very cold, rainy, foggy night, which yielded a fine image.  The creative director at Saatchi came back and wanted to change it up, and he wanted me to do a photo of an American laborer.  After two weeks I submitted three photos, he didn’t like any of them.  The following week, I submitted three more, he liked those even less.  I became extremely frustrated.  Any assignment photographer will tell you they would rather have a AD and CD with a firm story board (with approval of the end client) with very little leeway on the initial concept, but a lot of leeway on how you stylize a photograph.  It’s called a compromise.  We got in a, shall we say, small argument.  I was very frustrated, and decided was that what I needed to go was some serious manual labor, which in my opinion, is extremely healthy.  It will also stop you from getting arrested for attempted assault and battery.  Being dedicated to your art form is one thing, but doing hard time?  Unacceptable.  Stepped into the studio, looked at a full length mirror, readjusted my Dynalites, asked my best  female friend, JoAnne Kalish, if she would be kind enough to make a photograph…  client loved it.  Is there a moral to this story?  When — is not working — change it up.  If you want to see the complete story without any restrictions or censorship, in six months you can pick up my new book on visual literacy.

To all the ships at sea, grab a camera and a shovel, go have a ball.  It’s all good.