Passionate about music from a young age, Michael Putland's career in the music industry began as he thought it was about to end - closing down his studio because he simply couldn't afford it, the last call to come in was an assignment to photograph Mick Jagger. 30 years later he had accumulated a vast archive of most everyone who cut a record or played a gig. He shot for all the music mags we grew up reading in England, and when I moved to New York I realized those rags, and his work, were just as popular there among music fans in the 70s and 80s as they were back home. Michael himself moved to the States in the late 70s and spent a few years having what sounds like a pretty cool but very busy life, before moving back to the UK and opening a sister photo agency to the one which he'd left running back in NY.

Michael and I were business partners in the photo agency, Retna, for several wonderful years, until 2006 when the stock photo industry became something we were less passionate about (more servers, less personal contact). His focus on the agency and desire to encourage and promote younger talent didn't stop him from shooting, and I remember a session with a very young Brad Pitt among the ongoing music subjects. These days Michael still shoots, and spends time scanning the archive and coming up with great ideas like this, his new series of triptychs.

You can watch Michael talk about some of his best known images in a video interview with ZOOZOOM and read more about where his photographs have been used on his Wikipedia page. You are also welcome to contact me about buying a print.

View the feature.

Michael Jackson, 1972 © Michael Putland


I had the great pleasure of being a portfolio reviewer yesterday with the APA. I met some new photographers, an amazing FIT student, and a couple of people whose names I knew but hadn't yet met - one of them was Keith Barraclough who works with my mate Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises. His project "Blackboard Writings", where students write their thoughts on a board and are photographed with them, really floated my boat. Keith recently moved to NYC from DC and is looking to continue the project so let's hook him up with some local teachers, and a book publisher!

From "Blackboard Writings" © Keith Barraclough

Greenberg_AltarBoy.jpgDictionary definition of holy? Morally and spiritually excellent.

Here's to the ever-irreverent Jill Greenberg.

© Jill Greenberg


Met Zandy Mangold's best mate yesterday quite randomly and so got back in touch with this photographer after several years. Apparently he's well into running - just like his parents from what I recall - but he's bust his foot and is taking drugs. He's a great photographer, high on pills or otherwise, I'm sure. Looks like he's been traveling the world quite a bit, images from the Sahara and Gobi deserts and more on his site.

Ultramarathon Sahara Desert, 2009 © Zandy Mangold


It's always busy in Leonard-Land (despite Herman being 86!). "Legends of Jazz Photography" at Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles features the work of Herman Leonard, William Claxton and William Gottlieb, April 1 - May 15, 2010 / "Jazz Giants: The Photography of Herman Leonard" is at the Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco, April 5 - May 16, 2010 / June 1, 2010 sees the release of Heather Pinson's book for the University of Mississippi Press, "The Jazz Image: Seeing Music Through Herman Leonard's Photography" / And the Jazz at Lincoln Center exhibit "In the Best Possible Light: Herman Leonard's Jazz" has been extended until June 19, 2010.

Aside from his historic music photos, Herman also worked in fashion.You can read about his time in Paris in the 50s and 60s in ZOOZOOM.

Ella Fitzgerald singing to Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, NYC 1949 © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC


Legendary and controversial photographer Jim Marshall has died in New York. Jim was in town from San Francisco to launch "Match Prints", his new book with Timothy White. He will definitely be missed by the whole community.

Johnny Cash © Jim Marshall

halsman_monroe.jpgFounder of the scientific art of jumpology, Philippe Halsman's Jump will be on view at Laurence Miller Gallery in NYC from April 1st to May 28th, 2010. His book, Jump, was originally published in 1959 and contained a whopping 178 celebrity jumpers. Irene Halsman, Philippe's daughter, manages his estate, and is a member of the American Photography Archives Group along with me and a whole host of famous photographers and their estates.

In other news, Marilyn Monroe LLC is currently lobbying in Albany, NY, to retroactively change New York state law to allow for a right of privacy after a person dies (see S.6790 Sampson). The NY Times, AP, Getty, Hearst, NBC, CBS and many more oppose the Bill. It's hard to imagine it passing, but if you plan to make any Marilyn Monroe merchandise, do it sooner rather than later.

Marilyn Monroe and Philippe Halsman © Halsman

Karsh_Blalock_Alfred_1950_0.jpgHealth care reform has passed the House. Karsh thought he might have become a doctor, but rather he photographed many of the ground breakers of the 20th century including Dr Jonas Salk, Dr Helen Taussig, Dr Christiaan Bernard and Dr Alfred Blalock, to name just a few.

Dr Alfred Blalock, co-developer of the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, 1950 © Yousuf Karsh

Having just been avidly reading about Lithuanian photographer Rimaldis Viksraitis in my colleague Charles Taylor's magazine, Hot Shoe, the next day I was happy to see a few prints by him at AIPAD. Viksraitis won the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres D'Arles last year, and Martin Parr presented the body of work "Grimaces of the Weary Village" at the festival, calling the images "slightly insane and wonderfully surreal". I say fascinating.

Grimaces of the Weary Village © Rimaldis Viksraitis
MP_new_age_women.jpgThis has always been a really popular Putland image. Michael photographed the women in Kensington, London, for New Musical News and it was quite unusual to get such an assortment of musicians together. Referring to this photo, Pauline Black recently hosted a half hour segment on BBC Radio 4 and talked to Viv Albertine and Poly Styrene about what it was like to be a woman on the punk and rock scenes and what impact strong women in rock have had.

Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Viv Albertine, Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene and Pauline Black, 1980 © Michael Putland

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