Bucks County resident Lawrence Schiller discusses the possibility of a career in capturing history | Southeastern Pennsylvania
“I said ‘oh I’m the big bad wolf.'”
Photographer Lawrence Schiller spoke about his presentation of Marilyn Monroe during a shoot in 1960 for Look magazine.
“She said, ‘You don’t look that bad now, but when you grow up you will be. She said, come on, Mr. Wolf.'”
The experience ushered in a new friendship. Schiller was with her on the day of her death.
He had a paved career path photographing Hollywood’s biggest stars, sports heavyweights like Muhammad Ali punching Floyd Patterson in a championship fight, and political actors.
This includes a tearful photo of Pat Nixon on a lost election night.
Schiller and his camera helped showcase the cultural zeitgeist of the decade, which also included the Watts Riots in California.
“Anticipation is the most important thing in photography,” he said.
Highlighted by a photo taken on the second floor of the Dallas Police Station.
“I have the photo that tells the story. Not just the gun related to the Kennedy assassination, but the media, the crowd, the madness happening on the second floor,” he explained.
In the basement of his Bucks County home there are plenty of computers, a gigantic printer, and thousands of records. Schiller, from New York, has over 22,000 digitized photographs, over 300,000 frames, including OJ Simpson shortly after the verdict.
Her work is exhibited in galleries around the world and at the Arete Gallery in New Hope.
He has directed films, including Seven Minutes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He has written numerous books, most notably with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer. He is now championing the teaching of digital photography in schools.
“Now people take pictures very quickly and are still adapting,” he said of those with smart phones.
Disconnecting you from the moment, from the moments he clearly saw.
“Do you look back and say wow. Can’t believe I’ve been a part of it? “
“No. Because I’m 16 and 85. I don’t see my life that way,” he said.
Fortunately, others can.