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Always Carry A Camera

If you are serious about photography like I am, you will never leave your house without a camera.

For the past thirty-five years or so, I have never left home without a camera of some type. When I leave the house it is always the same routine; wallet, keys, money, handkerchief (yes.. I do carry one), and camera.

Your camera can be as complicated as one of my Nikon’s, my Canon advanced pocket camera, or as simple as my cell phone camera. No matter what the tool, it is always ready to fire and grab that once-in-a-lifetime photo. An old time photojournalist from the New York Journal-American, now defunct, both of them, once told me, “…. listen kid, if the camera’s in the bag, or the lens cap is on, you missed the shot. You will never make money if your equipment is not primed and ready to shoot.”

One of the prime examples of ‘getting the shot’ is the one I made of Charles Bronson while he was

Charles Bronson (skinny guy center) filming the Valachi Papers just off Hicks Street in Brooklyn, circa 1970.

filming the Valachi Papers about 1971 in downtown Brooklyn. My friend Kenny and I were out goofing off from our jobs at the phone company and came across the film company on Hicks Street. The photo you see here is one of many taken that day and resulted in a long friendship with Mr. Bronson.

You will notice that it was made in black and white (Kodak Tri-X Pan), color film was still too expensive. B&W was also easy to cook in the bathroom and then take it for printing, thus saving about forty cents. The theory behind this was, the more money you saved, the more film you could buy. Forty cents was still a lot money if you were making $125.00/week and had a camera/film habit.

Back to the photo; … The tall skinny guy in the middle is Charles Bronson. After shooting this scene he bought hot dogs and Yoo-Hoo’s for my friend Kenny, (long hair, end of the street) and I in exchange for a promise of copies of the prints. I sent them as promised. In a personal verbal agreement with Charles Bronson, this photo is not for sale or reprint. It remains in my personal collection.


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