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The Big Picture Documentary on Iconic Photographer Jay Maisel


Jay Maisel is a photographic legend who is known primarily for two things: his amazing photography, including the shot on the cover of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue; and the lower Manhattan mansion he bought in 1966 for only $102K (a purchase that has been called “the greatest real estate coup of all time”).

This short documentary tells you a little bit about both. But mostly, it contains phenomenal photography, followed by phenomenal insight, followed by more phenomenal photography. It’s hard not to find everything Maisel says inspiring. (Warning: the video does contain a few curse words).

The amazing thing about Maisel is that, as photographer Greg Heisler puts it, his work is “purely and simply about the joy of seeing.” And although we won’t spoil any more of the gems in this great little documentary, one comment by Maisel really stuck out to us:

Any picture that I’ve done that really is worth anything, I’ve been terrified the entire time I was shooting it. If you’re not scared that you’re gonna lose it, it ain’t that great a picture.

You heard him, so go out there and take some terrifying pictures. And if you happen to have seven and a half minutes to kill before you grab your camera, do yourself a favor and watch this documentary.

(via Nine Volt)