JoAnne Kalish on Photography, The Cuban People, and Why She’ll Always Strive To Be Better
Derek @ Learnivore Arts ..
Posted: 2/19/15, 10:02 pm The first woman at Sports Illustrated shares about her photo-journeys around the world and what continues to motivate her as an artist.
JoAnne’s bio according to the website for the photography workshops she co-hosts with Joe DiMaggio- “JoAnne Kalish began her career as an editorial photographer for such magazines as Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine and many other publications. She made the switch to advertising photography and won awards for her Sports Authority & Claritin campaign. As a television host she traveled to the Jungles of Panama to film ESPN’s Canon Photo Safari.”
With such a list of photographic accolades, you can see why we wanted to interview JoAnne. It only got better when she joined Learnivore to share her instructional talent in on-location workshops all over the world. The next stops? Cuba in October 2015 and Israel in December 2015 with partner Joe DiMaggio.
We’d like to thank JoAnne for sharing with us!
You’ve had an incredible career as a photographer so far. What got you started? When did you realize you wanted to make a career out of it?
When I was in 19, I met (my now) partner Joe DiMaggio who convinced me I had a lot of talent and I should consider photography as a career.
You run international photography workshops with Joe DiMaggio where you take photographers all over the world (Cuba, Israel, Africa, Iceland etc.). What inspires you to combine photography and travel the way you do?
We both love to travel and see the world. It’s really enjoyable to share our experiences and what we’ve learned along the way with others. What better way then to travel, to have a fresh eye for your surroundings? When you travel with a group there are many different interactions going on. You become more aware of seeing things through other people’s eyes as well.
For years you’ve been doing these photography workshops in Cuba, which has been off-limits to the large majority of American tourists for decades. What has been your experience there?
I’ve always had very good experiences. The people are well educated, honest, intelligent and curious. They have a rich culture where music, dance, and all kinds of art are valued – I mean really valued. As an artist, it is something that is very important to me as well. The Cuban people want to get to know you. Why do you continue to go back? Because every time we go there is so much more that I learn. The participants that join us are truly amazed at what great experiences you come away with.
What are your thoughts now that the United States and Cuba appear intent on easing these travel restrictions?
I think it is a very good thing for all of us.
What motivates you to teach photography?
I’ve reached an age where I need to start passing things down and sharing my experiences with others.
You’ve got no shortage of accolades. You’re the first woman Sports Illustrated ever hired. Your work is featured in the White House. You covered the Olympics. Your photos are in publications like Time Magazine and shared in galleries across the country. What is there left for you to do? What goals do you still want to accomplish?
I want to become a better artist, better human being, and I want to continue to grow forever. My dear friend Artist Will Barnet passed away at 97 and he was so vital till the end. He continued to make great art, as well as nurture and encourage many other artists. He was one of the loveliest people I’ve ever known. I would like to be like him in this way.
What is something about you that might surprise people that know you as a photographer?
I love to teach YOGA