Back in the late ’90s—long before websites and other digital portals became the showcase for photographers—I made regular visits to New York City to share my portfolio with magazine clients.
On one of those visits, while walking out of the building that houses Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal, I noticed a young man heading my way. He also had a camera around his shoulders and a large portfolio case under his arm. Like me, he seemed a bit lost in the vast metropolis.
As we got closer, he noticed my Leica camera and complimented me on it. After a few minutes of talking, I learned he was from a small town and had just graduated from art school. He was thinking of settling in the city to try his luck as a magazine photographer. In those days, the photography world was very small, and somehow he knew my name and my work.
I had some time to kill before my meeting, so we found a bench and kept chatting. I took a look at his photo book and gave him some ideas. We probably spent 30 minutes together before splitting up. Before I walked away, he asked me, “Pag, why would a busy guy like you take an interest in talking to me? Why do you care about looking at my photography?” The answer was easy: when I was his age, another photographer did the same for me—and so much more. Continue reading.