Douglas and I
Tonight, for the first time in the history of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), it is honoring a "Still Photographer" for his contribution to the art of cinema -- the great Douglas Kirkland.
I am thrilled about the award because I have been a Kirkland fan eversince I was a teenager (imagining all those photo sessions with beautiful actresses and models), also because I am both a photographer and a cinematographer at the same time.
Douglas is a photographer's photographer. He has an impeccable eye, a great imagination, exquisite craftsmanship and unflappable professionalism. In a career spanning almost 60 years, he has worked on more than 160 movies and has photographed countless celebrities and world leaders. Douglas' portfolio is a virtual "who's who" of cinema, media and world affairs in the last half century. The question to ask is "not who he has photographed" but "who he hasn't."
If I was asked to name just one photographer that inspires me and influences my work directly, I would name Doug Kirkland. He is a portrait photographer first and formost, because he genuinely loves people and it shows through in his work. This (I believe) is one of the most important secrets to his success.
Douglas and Francoise
The other important secret to success is his wife of 43 years, Francoise. I have seldom seen a relationship and partnership as tight as their marriage. Francoise is always supporting and assisting him in all he does. They really know the essence of "sharing a life together." I am lucky to be similarly blessed with my wife Anne, and I certainly would not be able to do what I am doing or eventually get where I want to go, without her help and support.
Congratulations to you both! You both deserve this prestigious honor and may you have many more successes to celebrate in the years to come.
--photos courtesy of Life Magazine.