1986

Many years later, in 2017, this photo was chosen for French Photo by the actor and photo collector Juliette Binoche as one of her ten favorite photographs. Here is the note from Agnès Gregoire, editor of French Photo:

Thank you so much Geoffrey !
Here is the comment of Juliette:
“C'est une photo qui me rappelle l'enfance, celle d'une petite fille avec un trop plein d'énergie, exhibitionniste, s'enchantant aux possibilités du corps, cherchant la liberté avant tout!”
We publish your so great picture only in the magazine. I'll send you copies. Your office will give me your address.
With warm regards
Agnès

 

One of my strategies was to embed myself into the day, and sometimes the night, of an executive I’d been assigned to photograph. I’d go for the appointed portrait, then ask if I could hang around and be unobtrusive. It almost always worked.

 

The photograph above, of GAF CEO and takeover artist Ken Heyman, was taken at a late-night strategy meeting while he maneuvered to take over the behemoth Union Carbide corporation. If I’d been able to take this kind of photograph consistently, of executives looking intelligent, strategic, and authoritative, I would have been much more successful in working directly for companies and the graphic designers who specialized in annual reports. After I’d made this picture, however, I had no particular interest in repeating it. My curiosity about what might make an interesting photograph drowned out good sense about getting jobs. Heyman himself was impressed with my work on this assignment, when I’d spent several days with him, in his office, in his limo, in his home, and I was hired to do the photographs for his company’s next annual report. Heyman and I had become friendly. When I was doing the annual report executive portrait, of him with two subordinates, I couldn’t figure out whether to call him Ken or Mr. Heyman. Apparently that didn’t go over very well, and I was told by the graphic designer that additional photography for the report had been requested, to be done by “anyone but Biddle.”

 
 

Mr. Heyman got up very early each morning and made calls on his way to work, so that the people he wanted to talk with arrived at their desks to a phone message asking them to call.

 

 
Kelly Nowels