The Hold – 10.28.2009

Welcome to a new daily blog feature: The Hold.

I’m in no way the first person to start a photo-of-the-day feature (see PDN Photo of the Day, Flak Photo, The Impossible Cool. I do. Every day). But I wanted to join in the tradition, both as a way to single out images I find exciting and as a way to keep myself thinking about and questioning what I find to be quality photographs.

I’ve found that most days can be made better with a photograph by Richard Avedon.

marilyn+monroe-1957- Avedon

© Richard Avedon

Like many photo enthusiasts, one of my first “wow” moments come from looking at Avedon’s work. When I worked for the Richard Avedon Foundation in 2005, I spent much of my time helping them work on a digital archive, which is now online and amazing.

In the process, I came across his contact sheets from this shoot with Marilyn Monroe, which produced surely one of his most famous images. I consider myself a good worker, but this is like coming across photography gold, so I pulled up a stool, sat down, and took my time. And let me tell you, he really did capture a moment here. Beautifully, simply, intimately.

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