Louis, street photographer

I’m just back from New York and unpacking my stuff.
I went to BH Photo, the photo gear temple on 34th street. This man was standing in front of BH megastore with his view camera. Obviously, not your run-of-the-mill street photographer. I thought it would be a fun picture to have him carrying his heavy antique camera (one-pop flashbulb and all), in front of a backdrop of ads for digital cameras. He was also one of those people who you can tell had a bit of a story. I mean, just look at his eyes, the guy definely is a character.
Plus, it’s always interesting to shoot the shooter, I think.
I asked him if I could make a portait of him. “Sure”, he replied. “And then I’ll make yours.”, he added.
That was the deal. So, we shot each other in front of BH photo.
As the polaroid was drying up, he told me he purchased his camera back in 1959, to give you an idea about how having the latest gear avalaible is important.
He gave me my polaroid, and wrote his website address on it.
Now that I am home, with an internet connection, I learn that the guy has a wikipedia page, a cool website, a twitter acount, a facebook page, and has published many books.
He has been shot by countless tourists, I know, and my picture is probably not very good. But I like it, because I liked the guy and his story.

Have a look at what he does, he’s really an inspiring person.

On a side note, it’s been a looong day. My flight back from the US was delayed, I missed my connection flight and spent the afternoon visiting Amsterdam instead of sleeping, arrived home 8 hours late, I have to work tomorrow, and effing KLM airlines managed to lose my luggage. I didn’t sleep much in the last 48 hours, but it was a nice trip.

August 26, 2010 - 06:10

Richard - Tout ce qu’il charrie avec lui, cet homme! Tant d’histoires new-yorkaises sont passées dans ses yeux. Beau portrait, beau miroir.

August 26, 2010 - 15:48

Hershel K. Waldner - Pierre,

Thank you for your kind mention of B&H Photo. On behalf of all of us at B&H Photo, please accept our warm thanks and deep gratitude for your patronage. We look forward to earning your trust and continued business for many years to come. I invite you and your readers to check out our new informative and entertaining blog at http://www.bhinsights.com

Hershel K. Waldner
Supervisor,
Online Marketing Department
B&H Photo-Video-Audio
212-239-7500 ext. 2893

August 27, 2010 - 15:58

george - You’re being far too modest Pierre, and despite that fact that the lighting and background probably aren’t ideal, it’s still a strong portrait.

Great shop B&H, it would be worth shooting a few of the folk inside too! Hope the jetlag has worn off…

August 27, 2010 - 19:05

Turfdigger - Excellent capture – I’m sure Louis would love this one!

He’s definitely legendary – I happened to meet up with him at Park and 51st in May of 2009:

http://pixels.slpro.com/archives/2009/05/1685_louis_mend.html#002519

August 27, 2010 - 21:02

pierre - Thanks people, glad you like it.
I’m still destroyed by the jet lag, what with getting old and all that.

September 10, 2010 - 12:22

Stefan - I really like this portrait and the story behind it.

September 14, 2010 - 22:57

PrincessH - Si j’arrivais à faire du N/B de cette qualité, je serais contente, moi… :-/

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