When I was just a young pup walking around with a Dome bag full of Tri-x and a Leica. I would occasionally run into people curious as to what I was doing. It usually had to do with questions like “Why are you taking my picture?” That would be when I would whip out my little box of 5X7 prints. Inside the box was around 20 of my latest and greatest.
This would usually put people at ease, and I could continue working with their approval.
I grew up in San Diego, and in San Diego in 1996 the Republican National Convention was gathered along with all the usual wonderful people who usually accompany political conventions. All the big photographers were there too. Alex Webb, Abbas, Philip Jones Griffiths just to name a few. Eddie Adams was also in attendance. Eddie Adams for those who don’t know was a legendary war and press photographer for the Associated Press. Since I had no trouble walking up to total strangers, I sauntered up to Eddie, black hat, grizzled but kind expression Eddie and said “Hi My name’s Eric, can I show you some prints”?.
Eddie who was used to talking to student aged people like myself said sure. He didn’t say a word as he flipped through my box of prints, stopping occasionally to chuckle or just for a long pause on a picture. Then he spoke.
He mentioned to me that he had a workshop in Upstate New York and thought I should attend, but I needed to apply. I knew he had a workshop, I knew where it was and I knew only 100 students were accepted. I was floored, shocked and amazed that Eddie Adams wanted ME to go to HIS workshop. All I knew of the workshop was that only the best of the best were accepted.
I gathered my print box, said “it was a real pleasure Mr. Adams” And was on my way.
To make a long story short, I did apply, I was accepted and I won top prize at Eddie Adams Workshop. So I pays to make a little box of prints.