Thursday, August 25, 2011

Me and Steve Jobs, part I

The recent announcement that Steve Jobs has stepped down as the CEO of Apple seems to signal a change in his health prospects.  Unless one knows the details of his pancreatic cancer it isn't likely to know with great specificity what his life expectancy would be, but the upper limit for most pancreatic cancers seems to be about 5 years.  Jobs was diagnosed in 2004 and it appears that he has beaten those odds.

Since I've been able to photograph and assist in photographing Steve Jobs on a number of occasions this seemed like a good time to remember.

I met Steve Jobs for the first time after running across the Stanford University campus loaded down with photography gear.  After giving my shot trying to carve out a career as a fine art photographer I had decided that there was something to be said for making money doing commercial and editorial photography.  The irony was that I had just been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts artist fellowship and intended to use the money buying lighting gear for my lateral move.  Being able to understand how one went about completing assignments seemed a prudent thing to know and so I began assisting editorial photographers in order to learn what they knew.

And so there I was assisting Ed Kashi on an early morning shoot at Stanford.  We were running late because our time with Apple Computer's then CEO John Sculley had run long, and now a portrait of Sculley and Jobs together was the next thing to be done.  Sculley was very concerned that the guy who hired him, Steve Jobs, would be left waiting alone on the Stanford campus wondering when we would arrive.  Remember when no one had cell phones?  Everyone knew Job's temperamental nature and as we ran we imagined the worst.  With apologies and heavy breathing the shoot commenced with none of the histrionics we'd come to expect.  Could it be that we simply got Jobs on a good day?

(here is a photo from that shoot with Ed Kashi)

As I will reveal in subsequent posts, this was entirely consistent with several other experiences I've had with photographing Steve Jobs.

1 comment:

Ellen Beth said...

You and Ed. Those were the days.