Bill Eppridge. Ival Lawhon. James Finley.
These three are the newest inductees to the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be Oct. 22 in Washington, MO., home of the Hall. These are wonderful choices of photojournalists to honor, and not just because I have been lucky enough to meet them all.
Bill Eppridge is, of course, the famed Life magazine shooter, whose image of Bobby Kennedy moments after being shot is an icon of the 1960s. He was a faculty member at the 1989 Missouri Photo Workshop in Maryville, MO. that Marcia and I attended. His presentation was the most moving account of all of the faculty sharing sessions. He said it was still hard to talk about the day Kennedy was shot. Bill also related how his print of the famous moment was taken off his wall and put behind his couch, the only thing that helped preserve it during a fire years later that swept through his house. Of all of the great experiences I had at the Workshop--including meeting Cliff Edom in his final years--hearing Bill Eppridge talk photojournalism is a highlight.
Ival Lawhon came to shoot our photo students in Hiawatha, KS. during our 1994 Heartland Photojournalism Project. While our students shot a Day in the Life of Hiawatha, Ival shot them, and then, along with the reporter, saw to print a fine spread in the St. Joseph News-Press. After we opened an exhibit of 400 images back in the town, Ival saw to it that a page of some of the best student photos ran again in the News-Press. He was a great shooter and loved shooting high school sports. I remember a great image of his from a Missouri Press competition several years ago. He captured a baseball runner diving headlong into second base with the shortstop poised to throw. It was a perfect shot.
James Finley I don't know very well at all, but I do recall that when I was trying to fill a slate of photo judges for our national high school journalism convention in St. Louis some years back that he was more than willing to judge. Judging, of course, meant interacting with students, basically critiquing their work, helping, and inspiring--all in a tight schedule under often noisy convention conditions. James, like so many professional photographers who helped us over the years, was a teacher at heart.
I hope the turnout is good for the induction ceremonies. 4 p.m on a Thursday is a tough time for people to get away from jobs and activities, especially if they are still shooting professionally. But these three certainly deserve all the attention they get on Oct. 22.