Sometimes a photograph isn't just a photograph. That comes through in the work of lensman Stefano Paltera, whose portraits always reveal something more than face value. Whether it's in his work for Vogue Italy or National Geographic, Time or Women's Wear Daily (where we worked together, as well as at The Los Angeles Times, once upon a time), Stefano's images make you stop and think–not something every photographer achieves in his work.
So I'm really keen to attend his lunch-time talk tomorrow at the downtown public library.
"I'll be relaying how to take creative portraiture. How each one needs a different approach," he told me by phone just now. Or as the invite to the free event–part of a discussion series presented by Photo Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library–touts: "Through my lens I have discovered the difference between what people look like and who they really are," says the Italian expat, "and I feel fortunate when I’m able to capture them both with my camera.”Just consider this incredible portrait he did of jazz trumpeter Gerald Stanley Wilson, some five years ago for a story on the master who continues to teach at UCLA. Mr. Wilson has also composed and arranged music for Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Ray Charles and just about everyone who is anyone. The Kennedy Center honored him last year as a "Living Legend of Jazz," and the Hollywood Bowl will celebrate his 90th birthday this summer.
But what's really cool is that the legend might pop into Wednesday's talk. "I called him to make sure it was OK that we used his image on the invitation, and he wanted the details so he could come," Stefano said. Talk about a twofer.
Brown bag it for the hour-long escape from your day.
Stefano Paltera, Wednesday, April 9 from 12:15-1:15, at the Los Angeles Central Library, Meeting Room A (next to the 5th Street Entrance).
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