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  • Writer's picturePaul Kessel

Gloria Steinem and Me

I just read a current New Yorker Magazine article about Gloria Steinem. Almost simultaneously, this photo in Facebook Memories popped up. In a way, at least historically, it may be my most meaningful photo. In 1970 I spent a week photographing on the street with a camera I owned but practically never used, set to “Auto”. I knew nothing about photography, had never heard of street photography, and the automatic setting was pretty much all I knew. (I had dabbled in photography as a child).

It was the first New York City “Woman’s Liberation March” as it was usually thought of at the time. Officially, it was called “Woman’s Strike for Equality”. It took place on Fifth Avenue.  Admittedly, I was not involved with the movement. I saw an attractive face in the center of the action and pressed the shutter. I had no idea who she was at the time. A few days later, I put away the camera and my street photography interest never emerged again until about forty years later. The picture may be my very first street photo.

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