Where: New York, NY
Normally I don’t post Epson branded images on this site, but this montage is the best way for me to remember my friend Tim Mantoani.
I met Tim several years ago when we were asked to serve on the Alumni Board of our school. It was around the time Tim started his memorable personal project, Behind Photographs. When Tim described the project at a board meeting I told him I would love to help in any way because in addition to the celebration of iconic photographs and photographers, it also celebrated the photographic print.
I was delighted to help Tim with the production of an exhibition at Photokina in 2010 and recruit photographers for his book at Photo Plus Expo in New York. Tim was taking his signature portraits one year with the 20×24 Polaroid camera in a conference room in the bowels of the convention center. I introduced Tim to some key photographers one of whom was Douglas Dubler. While Douglas was available to be photographed, he did not have a print to hold. Without hesitation, and to the dismay of colleagues, I pulled Douglas’s print out of the Epson gallery leaving a 40 x 60 inch hole. As I was walking it out of the booth, I simply told my colleagues that they had to trust me on this one. Douglas and that print appear on page 85 of Tim’s book. Because the print was so large and heavy, it’s one of the few portraits in the book where the photographer is not holding the print.
About 2 years ago our agency presented ideas for what is now the Print Your Legacy campaign. One idea that clearly stood out were tear sheets from Tim’s, Behind Photographs project. I thought it best in that meeting to stay quiet until everyone spoke knowing I would be asked for my opinion as the marketing manager. When that time came I told everyone about Tim, our friendship, how we already helped Tim with his project at Photokina and why I yanked that print out of the booth during Photo Plus Expo. The room became quiet with concern and I was asked if there were any issues with the concept. I told everyone it was a no-brainer, hire Tim and I’m sure he would be thrilled because it would reinforce the importance of his original idea. Of course everything easily fell into place.
It was a magical shoot working with the photographers and doing so at Bathhouse Studios in New York, the former home of Eddie Adams and where I was on a team that captured the first double-digit (12 megapixel) image in 1999. But most of all it was a joy working with Tim whose easy-going manner made all feel as though we were in the best of hands with the best in the business.
During the pre-light we were determining contrast ratios, composition and what size prints to use. Tim was the right height to be the stand-in and posed with different size blank sheets of paper to help determine the best size for the prints the photographers would be holding. I recall us talking about how someday we could show all of the Print Your Legacy portraits in one print. When I heard the news about Tim I looked for those files and assembled the final photographs onto a select from the contact sheet of Tim holding blanks. Be sure to click on the main image to see the details. I also came across a post production shot of Tim, Me and Steve McCurry which at that time was dubbed the 3 bald guys. While we are now just 2 bald guys, this image is a great memory for me of my buddy Tim.