At PhotoExpo in New York City, I stopped at the Nikon booth to hear a presentation by Lynn Goldsmith, a photographer, film director and recording artist. Her work has appeared on the covers and in publications in many countries for the past 35 years. She has done over 100 album covers. In addition to her editorial work, Goldsmith has also focused on fine art photography with conceptual images.
Goldsmith is known for her portraits of rock and rolls biggest icons. She chronicled Bruce Springsteen’s passage to glory, the Rolling Stones’ legendary stadium tours, Michael Jackson’s staggering ascent and the brooding force of Bob Marley. Culture heroes like Bob Dylan and Patti Smith became frequent subjects for her lens, as she joined the community of artists whose songs shaped our era. The range of her work is staggering.
But on this day she showed the first published image she ever made at 16-years-old. In 1964, her father took her to the Doral Hotel on Miami Beach—the day the Beatles visited. Goldsmith said she was not as impressed with the Beatles as with the patterned carpeting in the Doral lobby. When she looked down, she noticed the Beatles’ shoes—shoes that reminded her of something she had seen worn by James Brown.
“I refused to photograph their faces because I was a devoted Rolling Stones fan,” Goldsmith recalled. “It would have been a betrayal.”
So this is the picture she took. The shoes of the four Beatles on the carpet in the Doral. Her eyes saw the scene differently from anyone else that day.
This image was an early sign she would become a great rock and roll photographer.