THE PhotoGrapher

June 27, 1921 – December 30, 2013

John 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 Contributions and Obituaries page(s).

Please use the “Comments” section below, to share your thoughts/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.


John Dominis - The Portrait by Evelyn Floret

John Dominis : Portrait by Evelyn Floret


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 Evelyn at “evelynfloret@gmail.com”. 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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89 comments

  1. Dearest John,
    Today on your
    Ninety-sixth birthday
    You live in memory
    Beautiful one
    Who graced my life
    The love of my life
    Who enriched it
    Beyond all expectation
    Who shared
    with the world
    The visual wonders
    You captured
    on your journey
    to greatness.

    Evelyn

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    Eleanor

  4. Sat, 11 January 2014 16:57:53 +0000

    Evelyn,
    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 Inc.family.
    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

  5. 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

  6. Thu, 9 January 2014 16:07:33 +0000

    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 better…my 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…

  7. Mon, 6 January 2014 01:33:02 +0000

    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:

    http://fstoppers.com/celebrating-the-life-of-life-photographer-john-dominis

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

    Deepest condolences to his family and friends,

    Dave

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Fri, 3 January 2014 21:03:00 +0000

    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

  11. Fri, 3 January 2014 20:54:09 +0000

    John and his fellow Life Photographers fed my passion for photography, which continues still…at 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. cp

  12. Fri, 3 January 2014 13:52:05 +0000

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Thu, 2 January 2014 17:02:54 +0000

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Wed, 1 January 2014 05:15:40 +0000

    I am remembering being at the top of the Empire State Building and having it all to ourselves after the opening night party for Young Frankenstein. Just one of the many special moments I’ve shared with you and Evelyn. I am privileged to call you my friend. A true Renaissance Man, you will be sorely missed…

    Castel

  18. Wed, 1 January 2014 05:03:34 +0000

    I am among the very fortunate people who was honored to meet John as a man and a loving family friend. Thank you John for taking us on journeys that we would never have had the opportunity to enjoy.
    Thank you for loving our wonderful Evie.

  19. Tue, 31 December 2013 23:41:50 +0000

    What a loss. But what he added to our lives, his photos and insight, will always be here to do what he intended; open minds, elucidate, educate

  20. Tue, 31 December 2013 17:34:35 +0000

    Your photographs were awesome and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent!

  21. Fri, 6 December 2013 19:16:15 +0000

    John, I would like to thank you for all you did to help me in my career at Sports Illustrated. You took the time to critique my errors and compliment success in a very professional manor. Your kindness is something I will never forget. Hopefully, one of these days, we can grab a cup of coffee in your neighborhood and properly thank you for all you did for me and my family. God bless you.
    George Tiedemann

  22. Thu, 31 October 2013 16:52:47 +0000

    Mr. Dominis,

    While surfing the internet, I stumbled across the priceless photographs you took of my father, the late MSG Grover C. Allen, Sr, and his Army company during the Korean War in March of 1951. “Operation Kapers” traveled the front lines, performing for their fellow troops during austere conditions. My father often talked about his service in Korea, but your photographs provided great insight as to what my father experienced. Sadly, my father passed away in 2006

    and did not have a chance to see your photos, but they brought great joy to myself and my five siblings. Your photographs revealed a side of our father that we never otherwise would have had the chance to see. We thank you for that.

    God bless, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    Andre Allen

  23. Thu, 12 September 2013 21:17:18 +0000

    Dear John:
    You don’t know me, but I’m so grateful to you. My father was among one of the Meotribe men, you’ve captured with your camera on that day May of 1961, in Padong Laos. It was during the Vietnam War, and life in Laos was still unknown to the world. But it was you who capture him in time. It is our only photograph of my father during that time. He now has passed, and I am forever grateful to you for being there for us and make us a part of your life. You’re already in the best of hands. God has you in his hands from the very beginning. May God continue to watch over you and may you live your life to the fullest and when the time come, I know you will go home to him as hero. In the world of hero, the only two heroes I knew are you and my father. Who was very much like you, he was never too afraid to live.

    Much love,
    Kong

  24. Wed, 11 September 2013 06:20:08 +0000

    Dear John,
    Many Koreans remember you and your great photo works.
    As one of Korean photograpers, I wish you get well soon and visit Korea for the LIFE PHOTO EXHIBITION.
    I will keep you in my prayers

  25. Tue, 3 September 2013 07:20:11 +0000

    Dear john,

    I often think of our days (and evenings) in Vail, with Bud, Helen, Bill and Hank, and the way you would charge the slopes. This past winter I was unable to get there because of a back

    problem, but I should be able to make it this year.

    Only today did I discover you had been ill, of which I was sorry to hear, but I am pleased you are at home recovering.

    Get well soon, as we are all counting on you. The very best,
    Sydney

  26. Wed, 21 August 2013 17:11:55 +0000

    Hello Mr. Dominis, I am a French photographer who admires your photos for 30 years. Today, thanks to the internet, I can finally tell you all how much I admire your work, and I think that a man who makes as wonderful pictures can be humanly admirable.
    I wish you still long and good life. Frederic.

  27. Wed, 7 August 2013 22:53:02 +0000

    John, I hope you’re better. I am a pro photographer, worked 25 years for Time Warner magazines. Just recently I discovered you and my dad went to high school together at Freemont High. I had know of, admired and envied your work for years so this was a fun discovery. My dad is Robert (Bob) Meripol. I know that was a long time ago. My dad is going strong still. I hope you are doing every bit as well.

    my sincere best and thanks for all the great moments you captured and shared.

  28. Tue, 30 July 2013 04:01:49 +0000

    Sorry, I didnt read what was on the website before I sent my message. God bless.

    Mason Mullally

    (61) Shari Sun, 5 May 2013 02:22:14 +0000

    Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent site.

  29. Sun, 7 April 2013 00:10:00 +0000

    John,

    I hope you are well — I hope this website is out of date and you are back on your feet again.

    I am writing because in 1969 my brother took me to the Woodstock festival as a birthday present. A more amazing gift could not have been imagined.

    As it turns out, you took a photograph of him standing behind a woman washing her hair. This is the shot: http://timelifeblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/17_110978887.jpg?w=636. We were all astonished by his good fortune at getting recorded this way.

    Since he passed away not long afterward, this photograph means a great deal to me. Is it possible to get a print? I’ve searched and not found a source for it.

    Thank you and I hope for your good health.

    Eric Peabody

  30. Sun, 3 March 2013 03:01:22 +0000

    Mr. Dominis, I met you somewhere around 1958. You were doing a piece about cowboys in West Texas and stayed in Spur, Texas for several days. I was too young to know the paticulars but some how my father, Eric Swenson, was your “guide”. Since there were no motels in our little town you stayed in our home for two or three days. I got to travel with you and my Dad while you were looking for subjects to photograph. You made a photo of my Dad leaning against a barn wall and had it mailed to him when you returned home. As I am typing this I’m looking at the photo hanging on my den wall. It captures his character better than any photo ever made of him and I cherish it dearly. I’m really glad you came our way those many years ago. Eric Swenson, Jr.

  31. Wed, 6 February 2013 15:55:16 +0000

    Hi John,
    I hope you’re feeling better and that this story brightens your day. I am the girl watching the

    baby calf in the Woodstock photograph that you took. I was waiting for a friend who was looking down the ‘Groovy Way’ and other paths who eventually came back with info about the soup kitchen… then we went for something to eat. Getting there was crazy. I was 16 and didn’t have permission from my parents to go. I told my mom that I was going to a friend’s house in Baltimore (I lived in New Jersey). She came to pick me up and my step-dad said that he wanted me to call collect from Baltimore when I got there, so we drove to Baltimore to make my phone call. We also picked up a friend of her’s who had received his draft notice and decided to dodge the draft. As the FBI came through his front door, he was climbing out the window, ran off and was wandering the streets. We spotted him wandering around, picked him up, drove back to New Jersey to collect another friend and off we went to Woodstock. We took a wrong turn and ended up at Harley Hinkle’s farm. From there we just followed our noses and managed to avoid the 10 mile tail-back when the back road we had stumbled across led us up to the campsites! What luck! The photo when in Time Life had a Canned Heat quote attached, “Goin’ up the country, girl do you want to go?” Iconic at last! Again, I wish you a speedy recovery. Best wishes, Beth

  32. Mon, 4 February 2013 13:16:37 +0000

    P.S., Dad,
    I forgot to mention that you’ve demonstrated the following poem by your life for as long as I can remember.
    Love,
    Paul

  33. Mon, 4 February 2013 13:12:17 +0000

    Hi, Dad,
    Years ago you shared Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” with me, and now I think it’s more appropriate to both of us than ever.

    If—
    By Rudyard Kipling

    (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies) If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

    Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943) I love you, Dad,
    Paul

  34. Tue, 22 January 2013 20:22:36 +0000

    I just received a copy of your wonderful book SINATRA…. What a great st of pictures….

    I hope you are doing well… I was sorry to hear of your illness and hope you are up and around soon

  35. Fri, 18 January 2013 15:20:58 +0000

    Hi John, The last time we met was at Gabriel’s Restaurant with Evelyn several years ago and we had a wonderful dinner, reminiscing about the times I assisted you at LIFE, working together at the old TIME-LIFE Studio on the Great Dinners series. We laughed about how many takes it took to get the trout to come out of the almond bed in one piece. You finally froze the fish and got that fabulous picture of the flying trout! I also remember fondly our occasional tennis matches in Central Park and how you recall playing with John Zimmerman on his home court in the Canyon above Beverly Hills. Zim would not start play till he plied you with several martini’s! I’m deeply indebted to you in what you taught me as your assistant at LIFE and how that played a huge part in my success as a photographer at Sports Illustrated. You were also the best picture editor at SI I ever worked for. I’m hoping you will recover from the surgery and be back on your feet asap. I tried calling you. I’m still your neighbor and perhaps we can take in a movie & dinner when you’re up for it again. Looking forward to catching up with you again. All the best, Manny

  36. Sat, 12 January 2013 23:04:08 +0000

    Dear John,

    The family all missed you over the holidays, and Rob offered a special toast from us all for your continued recovery. Please know you are in our hearts and thoughts every day.

    Thanks for your beautiful smile and your grass skirt rendition of “litle brown girl hula”

    Love and hugs. Jeannie.

  37. Tue, 25 December 2012 21:02:56 +0000

    Dear John: Merry Christmas. I hope you are feeling better and I know Evelyn is taking great

    care of you. A hospital isn’t a great place to be on a holiday (I’ve been there) but try to keep your spirits up and know that a lot of people are thinking about you. Best, Holly

  38. Fri, 14 December 2012 16:11:07 +0000

    dear John,
    you have not only been an inspiration to me but also essential in the progress of my career. When I saw the images for your show at the Monroe Gallery I was so impressed by some of the work that I had not seen for some time and it really hit home what a great photographer you are.

    You will get through this and move on because you have a dominant, or should I say Dominis, sprit

    MUCH LOVE and Thanks for all that you have given to me and to so many others. Steve Schapiro

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