Although we only met once, I was saddened to hear of the loss of Brian Lanker this month. I had the opportunity to meet with Brian at his Eugene studio when I was in college after then U of O President Paul Olum arranged the introduction. He shared his background and passion for photography, passing along what it took to succeed.
His Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues are the least of his accomplishments in my opinion. I admired and continue to admire his book, I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women who Changed America. Brilliant portraits combined with moving interviews, this still holds a special place on my bookshelf. It represents the power of story.
He was a brilliant photographer, master of design and consummate story teller. For him, it was never just about an image but what was communicated via that image. You can feel the emotion in his work. And see his generousity of spirit. He has always been one of my subtle if not key sources of inspiration. And gone far too soon. If you’re not familiar with his work, I encourage a look!