I love photography. Love seeing ‘people of colour’ captured in strong black and white images. Love fearless form and clarity in pictures. Love perfect composition, and seeing thinking outside of the box, photographically speaking, I mean.
Friend and photographer to the immortals of jazz, Herman Leonard is the daddy of jazz photography. Paul Boakye caught up with a living legend still in pursuit of pleasure.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, March 6th 1923, Herman Leonard was eight years old when he walked into a darkroom and saw naked pictures of his brother’s wife developing in a tray. It was 1931 with no Playboy magazine or anything like that around and the nudity shocked him. Then he said, “wait a minute, if he can do that with a camera, why can’t I?”