I had the great pleasure of working with her back in 1995, in conjunction with the imminent release of her book, Eve Arnold: In Retrospect. To promote the book, there were to be two travelling exhibitions, one in the UK and one in the US, and a third set for a museum collection. Magnum, whose offices were around the corner from where I worked, didn’t have the facilities to print the large size fibre prints she wanted, so I was asked by her to make the three sets of exhibition prints, while they made those for the book.
The first time I met her I was so nervous. Here was a legend in photography and I was in her apartment, sitting at her kitchen table, eating cake and drinking coffee. Subsequently though, I always looked forward to those times I’d have to visit her. Every few days I would go to her flat in the West End to deliver the prints I’d finished and collect another batch of negatives. She had given me a set of unbound galley proofs of the book to match the prints to, and she knew exactly what she wanted in the prints, but if there were reprints to be made, she asked in a way that made you want to rush back to the studio and immediately start printing, and with enthusiasm. She was one of the most gracious photographers I have worked with.
Soon after I’d emigrated to America she contacted me again with a project in mind. Unfortunately she didn’t want to risk losing the negatives shipping them to the US, and I wasn’t in a position to move back to the UK so soon. Now, of course, digital technology and scanning makes that so easy. The project was a portfolio of 13 images of Marilyn Monroe, A Baker’s Dozen.