The day I met Bill Cunningham

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Any photographer from my generation would know of the legendary Bill Cunningham and possibly seen the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York”. Bill is a fashion photographer for The New York Times and famous for photographing people walking through the streets of New York City.

Last December I was over in the USA working/shooting in LA and New York, on one of my free days I headed off for a walk through Central Park and into the city, whilst walking the streets of NYC, waiting to cross the street on the corner of 57th and 5th Ave. I glanced up and saw this blue coat, instantly realising that indeed this was Bill Cunningham, camera in hand, doing what he does best, photographing people and fashion on the streets. I was in two minds to interrupt him or not as I knew he was a humble and modest man, dedicated and engaged in his own world. Part of me knew I didn’t know when I would be in NYC again so I politely introduced myself, said hello and asked “Bill, Bill Cunningham?” He replied “yes. yes I am”. We shook hands, had a wonderful little talk, in between he kept ducking behind his camera as he saw a passer by he knew he had to get that shot of, showing how dedicated he is to his craft, it was wonderful to see him at work.

I wished him a happy new year, he took off his glove and shook my hand one last time, I smiled and said goodbye.

Honoured to have seen let alone have the opportunity to talk with Bill Cunningham, at the age of 86 he is still showing the world how it is done.