My Tribute To Ken Heyman

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Ken, you changed my life, and I should have thanked you long ago.

I saw you speak in the basement of a New York YMCA sometime in the late 60's. I was searching for my life's goals with a camera.

Certainly it was your images, your persona, your humanism...but further, it was something even greater that I can't quantify.

Perhaps it was the way you shot a candid of a cleaning lady who wandered into the room with pail and mop?

Surely I was impressed, but I didn't realize how profound your influence was

until I walked the streets of Manhattan the next day.

And as I walk today, you are with me.

Thank you so very much

* * *

Ken Heyman has published 54 books of photographs and has taken over three-quarters of a million pictures in most of the countries of the world. He has completed 150 assignments for Life magazine and been a full member of Magnum. He was Margaret Mead's personal photographer for 20 years. 

Ken’s work has brought him many awards including the prestigious " World Understanding Award," considered to be one of the top awards in photography and given " to honour the photographer whose work has contributed most to a better understanding among the world's people."

Ken Heyman's solo and group exhibits have been held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The Hallmark Gallery, The International Centre for Photography, The American Museum of Natural History and The Zabriskie Gallery in Paris... to list only a few.

We reconnected in 2009, shortly after writing him the poem above. He invited me to visit him at his Greenwich Village loft in Manhattan. I made that pilgrimage soon after. We spent the day together. He signed and gifted me several of his books. He looked at my work and said the words that I'll treasure and never forget, words that sanctioned my entire photographic career. 

He said, "Larry, you're good."

Visit Ken’s website:

* image reproduced with the artist’s permission


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