It was almost exactly half a decade ago, living in Stuttgart at that time, I was lucky to have one of the most inspiring encounters of my entire life. I had the chance to visit a reading of the legendary photojournalist David Rubinger. 88 Years old at that time he had an outstanding, 60 year career documenting the entire history of Israel, working for Time and Life magazine and basically every major publication. He photographed more than ten wars and documented the lives of every President of Israel, their public lives but also private emotional moments. Shimon Peres even ended up writing the foreword to his biography.
Born in Vienna in 1924 he fled to then Palestine as the Nazis took reign, enrolled into the british army and came to photography when he was gifted a camera during his time serving in France fighting the Nazis.
David had just released his autobiography, read from it for almost two hours, before I had the incredible honor to get to know him and to have an inspiring conversation about, photography, photojournalism and life in general. I often think of that day, it was him who really sparked my passion for documentary photography. Too bad I never had the chance to really thank him for all the advice and inspiration. It was from him that I learned a great lesson in forgiveness and the importance of thinking outside the box, that sometimes if you want to achieve something, you have to start by walking in the seemingly opposite direction.
One week ago, David Rubinger passed away at the age of 92. A remarkable man, an awesome photographer, great human being and one of the wisest men I was lucky to speak to. A legend, a very humble one. I spent that week reading through his biography and going through his amazing body of work again and again. And thinking back to that encounter I am even more thankful. Looking back, I can say that - even if I didn't know it at that time - it was the moment my life changed and I started walking into a whole new direction. That even was a big part of what brought me into documentary and portrait photography.
David here's to you! Thank you for everything!
May you rest in peace!
thanks so much!