June 27, 1921-December 30, 2013


John Dominis, photo by Evelyn FloretJohn Dominis passed away peacefully on December 30, 2013. By his side was his partner of more than three decades, artist Evelyn Floret. The renowned photo-journalist passed away at their home following complications from emergency bypass surgery a year earlier.

This website has been set up by Evelyn Floret, at the suggestion of Mike Maple. It is here so that his friends and admirers can sign his guestbook and share their memories of this extraordinary man. He may be remembered through his prolific work, which may be found through the links on the sidebar to the right.

Please use the form below to enter your name and email and to post comments about John. The notes posted here prior to his passing were most meaningful to him and those posted now are meaningful to those who were close to him. After writing your note, to prove you are not a spammer, please add the numbers, place the total in the text field and then submit your guest book entry.

John was a great inspiration to many in the creative community. If you count yourself among them and care to share a link to your website, John would be proud to offer a link to it from this site.

Photos may be manually added in your guestbook message by the administrator, if you would please send them as email attachments  to Please also use that email address, should you have any other problem posting to this website.

Thank you for your support.

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(94) Coleman Moffett
Fri, 22 January 2016 22:21:45 +0000
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I ran across a photo essay John Dominis did on Steve Mcqueen. It was miles above the typical celebrity photo essay. What a wonderfully talented photographer. I'll be searching out more of his work.

(93) Rita Montes Martin
Sat, 21 March 2015 15:08:01 +0000

I attended Fremont High with Johnny. Always a dear friend and always my example in support of vocational training. So sorry I was not in touch with him before he passed way. Are you in touch with or know about Wally Bennett or Mark Koughffman. Great photo of Johnny. Be in touch. Rita Montes Martin I have made it to age 93 and am only in touch with one person from High school all others have passed. Did Johnny keep in touch with Ron Miller? Ron married Disneys daughter and has Silverado Vineyards in Napa- if not I am sure Ron would love to see Johnnys photo. Rita


Dear Rita,

How lovely to hear from you and to know of your relationship and fondness for Johnny and that you were at Fremont High School together while John was studying with legendary photography teacher C A Bach. I'm sorry to say that both Wally Bennett and Mark Kaufman have passed away. John stayed in contact with them as well as Art Rogers and John and I arranged that, according to John's wishes, they be inducted together to the Hermosa Beach Surfers Walk of Fame on a bronze plaque embedded on the "Surfer's Walk of Fame" in 2006.

Here is a quote from John about them from the Hermosa Beach news release.
“Art Rogers became a newspaper photographer for the Los Angeles Times.  He stayed there for about 40 years. Wally Bennett worked for Time magazine in Washington, D.C.  Both Mark Kauffman and I were Life staff photographers.  When the weekly Life folded in l972 Mark became the photo editor of Playboy and later had a restaurant and I became the photo editor of People and then Sports Illustrated.” 

The release goes on to say" from l937 until l942, when he left to join the Air Force during WW II, Dominis was a member of the Hermosa Beach Surfing Club.  When he joined the club there were an estimated 300 surfers on the whole California coast from Palos Verdes to Malibu."

John didn't mention to me that he was in contact with Ron Miller. How amazing that Ron married Disney's daughter and has Silverado Vineyards. It would be great to steer him to John's website so he could see the photo and perhaps read about him. I'm so pleased you like the picture. I took it of John in the late 1970s.

I'm sorry, too, that you weren't in touch with John. But, you know how special he was. You may rest assured that he really enjoyed and savored life and experienced the beauty that surrounded him. It means a lot that you are thinking about him now and sharing what he meant to you. Thank you.

I admire that you have reached the age of 93 and are so outgoing and interested. Of course, it is very sad that all but one of your friends from Fremont have passed away.


Evelyn Floret

(92) Nathan Hill
Sun, 1 March 2015 14:17:27 +0000

I myself am a college freshman aspiring to be a journalist/photojournalist. Sadly I didn't discover John's work until after his passing but the impact it's had on me is profound. He was an innovator and a master in every sense of the words. His work will be always be one of my greatest inspirations. RIP

(91) Evelyn Floret
Thu, 26 June 2014 19:01:43 +0000

In Memory of John Dominis
On his birthday June 27,1921

He Left us the Moment

He lived in the moment
He stayed in the moment
He captured the moment
He foresaw the moment
- And created the moment
- A moment of passion
From his pure heart
Without a moment's regret.

Evelyn Floret

(90) Sheraz
Sat, 26 April 2014 10:13:54 +0000
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Sorry to hear about loss of great photographer.
i found him on google and wanted to write his something for suggestions.
I was going to ask him how do i sell my photos on getty.
Anyway my regards for him.


(89) Dale Laszig
Thu, 20 February 2014 15:31:48 +0000

I met John’s son on my way to California. We were both 15. The airlines were on strike that summer, so we traveled across the country on a Trailways bus with uniformed attendants who served us meals and snacks. I remember departing from Port Authority, waving from our front seats at my parents and John, who were standing together, waving enthusiastically. Since then, whenever I see a photo credit, it always brings a smile.

(88) Eleanor Graves
Wed, 22 January 2014 19:55:53 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I've been thinking of you since John died and of what good care you took of him. I want you to know how much we miss him. Ralph and I were so fond of John. We were very close at LIFE Magazine.

Ralph, who as you know died six months ago, was the last Managing Editor at LIFE. He said that, if he had to survive at LIFE with one photographer or start a new magazine with one photographer, it would be John Dominis.

This is a story about John I'd like to share with you: At LIFE, I was the Modern Living Editor and then afterwards, I originated the idea of Great Dinners as a monthly LIFE feature. It was at that time that John and I worked on food pictures in the studio and we used to have fights. He thought he was the boss and I thought I was the boss. We would do 4 or 5 food pictures at a time. One day, on the last shot of the day, everything went wrong. John was annoyed and I was annoyed. Although we had planned a celebratory lunch at La Grenouille, I stayed behind with the cook to prepare to reshoot the last shot. I sometimes prepared the food and we had a cook there as well. So, John and the crew went to lunch at La Grenouille, and we were going to reshoot afterwards. John didn't want to come back. But, of course, he did return and came in carrying this enormous bowl of chocolate mouse from La Grenouille. He knew I loved chocolate. It was so sweet of him and so funny to picture him walking down the street with this huge bowl of chocolate mouse. I never forgot it. It was a true John Dominis gesture, affectionate and grand.


(87) Anthony Neste
Sat, 11 January 2014 16:57:53 +0000
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I come with a heavy heart. It was only yesterday when i opened up SI that i found out of John's passing.I have been shooting now for over 30 years and it was John that gave me my first assignment at Sports Illustrated. We first meet In the fall of 1980,when you had to actually sit across a desk and show your work face to face to an editor, I was a little nervous to say the least to be showing my portfolio to John Dominis, OMG. But he was so gracious in viewing and critiquing my work i was hoping he seen something he liked. As he closed my book he gave me this look that i couldn't quite figure out,I thought ok here it comes , "thanks kid don't call us we'll call you". But then he gave me a smile and said "What are you doing this Saturday?". Well, that first assignment at a South Carolina football game turned my life around. It started an amazing 15 year career at Sports Illustrated and with many others in the Time
I wish now that I could have seen him before his passing. But that fall day when we first meet will be a day I will cherish forever.

Peace,_Anthony Neste

(86) Jan Zonon
Sat, 11 January 2014 13:49:09 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I just learned of John's passing and am so sorry you have lost your partner of so many wonderful years. I met John in 1993 on the mountains of Taos, New Mexico where he had taken a ski trip with his daughter Dori. My late husband Barry and I enjoyed many ski runs and several meals together and over the course of that week enjoyed getting to know him. Such a humble man, I had no idea of his extraordinary talent until discovering on my own that he was behind so many iconic images I had grown up with. A couple of years later, much to our delight, Barry and I reacquainted ourselves with John when we learned we belonged to the same tennis club in Amagansett. In the last few years I have again enjoyed his company at South Fork Country Club. I shall always remember this kind, talented man with a gorgeous head of silver hair and a twinkle in the bluest of eyes.

God Bless, Jan Zonon

(85) Dick Swanson
Thu, 9 January 2014 16:07:33 +0000
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John was my picture editor at People Mag. and told me my pictures stunk or were good...he always had suggestions to make the bad ones acceptable and the good ones even most memorable times with him were in the kitchen eating his pictures after he was done with his imagination...

what a talent! more importantly, what a privilege to know him...

(84) David Geffin
Mon, 6 January 2014 01:33:02 +0000
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I was very sorry to hear of John's passing yesterday. I wrote an homage to him, celebrating his life and his work for the photography website i write for. If anyone is interested in can be read here:

Hopefully his work will continue to inspire the next generation of photographers as it inspired me.

Deepest condolences to his family and friends,


(83) Neile McQueen
Sun, 5 January 2014 02:45:55 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I just found out by way of Paris. It must have happened while I was on my flight home.

He was the sweetest man. The one thing that always stands out in my mind is the big album John gave Steve and me of the fabulous photos he took of us in 1963. I'm so happy that I was at least able to see him two years ago and had that contact with him because of the German Coffee Table book that Bob Adelman put together this past year. Hopefully it will be published here.

Take care and God bless.

Neile McQueen

(82) geir lillemark
Sat, 4 January 2014 13:09:55 +0000

One of the giants has fallen. John Dominis took the pictures that made me take my choice, to become a photographer. RIP.

(81) Sid and Michelle Monroe
Fri, 3 January 2014 21:03:00 +0000
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We send our deepest condolences to all of John's family. John was truly one of the greatest photographers that we had the pleasure of know and showing in our gallery, and moreover he was an extraordinary human being.

We will endeavor to help the world remember, and in the future, discover, John by his wonderful legacy of photographs.

Sid and Michelle

(80) Charles Pascale
Fri, 3 January 2014 20:54:09 +0000

John and his fellow Life Photographers fed my passion for photography, which continues age 67. Further, my two daughters are skilled photographers, and still take the "old dog" to photo exhibits in NYC. The well executed, balanced photo still moves without drama.

Fri, 3 January 2014 13:52:05 +0000
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My condolences to John's family. I am YALE JOEL's son and met John the year before Yale died in 2006.
Looking through his photos the last few days has been a marvelous experience-- reminding me of the extraordinary world these Life Magazine photographers live in. John was... one of the last.

(78) Nick Khazal
Thu, 2 January 2014 19:50:41 +0000

What an amazing body of work and visual narrative! Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. You'll be missed by many and forgotten by none.

(77) Jeff Barger
Thu, 2 January 2014 17:02:54 +0000
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I met John when he was speaking at the school I learned photography at (Milwaukee Area Technical College)a few years ago. I graduated back in 1979 and have been making a living with my cameras since then. When I heard he was coming to speak at MATC, I cleared my calendar so I could attend. I really enjoyed hearing him speak, and talked with him after his presentation. He was a pleasure to speak with, and was inspiring to me. I have a great deal of respect for John, and wish his family well. He will be missed by many.

(76) Robin Leavitt Melen
Wed, 1 January 2014 23:20:26 +0000

I was lucky enough to grow up with John and his family in my life. He worked with my dad, Scot, on Life magazine, and they were very close friends. John was such a presence in his quiet, strong way. The stories they told, the lives they lived ... There was nothing like Life magazine and its team of writers and editors. There was a special bond. Godspeed, John. Love to the family.

(75) Manny Millan
Wed, 1 January 2014 16:55:37 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I am deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. John was much more than my mentor and good friend,
he was a huge inspiration to all photographer's and much admired by all who were fortunate to have known him as a person. His wonderful storytelling, wit and charm will be missed.

Can you please keep me posted as to funeral arrangements and/or memorial for John.

Manny Millan