In September 1933, LIFE magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt traveled to Geneva to document a meeting of the League of Nations. One of the political figures at the gathering was Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitlers most devout underlings and a man who became known for his “homicidal anti-Semitism.”
Goebbels soon learned of the Jewish blood flowing through Eisenstaedt’s veins. Subsequently, when Eisenstaedt approached Goebbels for a candid portrait, the politician scowled for the camera, and the famous photo that resulted shows the man wearing “eyes of hate”.
Here’s what Eisenstaedt later shared regarding experience:
“I found him sitting alone at a folding table on the lawn of the hotel. I photographed him from a distance without him being aware of it. As documentary reportage, the picture may have some value: it suggests his aloofness. Later I found him at the same table surrounded by aides and bodyguards. Goebbels seemed so small, while his bodyguards were huge. I walked up close and photographed Goebbels.
It was horrible. He looked up at me with an expression full of hate. The result, however, was a much stronger photograph. There is no substitute for close personal contact and involvement with a subject, no matter how unpleasant it may be. (…) He looked at me with hateful eyes and waited for me to wither. But I didn’t wither. If I have a camera in my hand, I don’t know fear.” (read more)
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” (Sophia Loren)
Happy birthday Sophia Loren!
Ernest Hemingway at a Cuban fishing village like the one in his book “The Old Man and the Sea”.
The photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt recalled that styling Hemingway, who wanted to wear nothing but shorts, was quite the challenge, and for years cited this shoot as one of his most challenging. (+)
“I began the Master Series of Photographers when I became a photographer, 45 years ago. The early series included Gene Smith, Barbara Morgan, Lisette Model, Andres Kertez and Alfred Eisenstadt, who couldn’t have been nicer. After Eisenstadt died, I returned to his office and it was just as he had left it, but he was no longer there. His presence remained for me in the boxes of photographs and photographs on the walls and the photograph I had because he allowed me to take his portrait.”
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” (Alfred Eisenstaedt)
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