Photographer George Lange On Shooting the Perfect Moment
by Adam Perry for Denver Westword, 3/14/2019
Photographer George Lange, known for his celebrity portraits, has been shooting photos since he was a seven-year-old kid growing up in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Now 63 and living in Boulder with his wife and sons, he cherishes a photo of himself standing in the driveway of his childhood home, holding a camera. It reminds him of how he got his start.
“There was a chute where they used to keep the coal for the furnace before I was born,” he recalls. “It was kind of disgusting, because there was still coal on the walls, and I scrubbed all that off when I was in seventh or eighth grade and built a darkroom in there. I took pictures just because I liked how the paper felt in the chemicals — this heavy German paper.”
After graduating from high school and doing a brief stint at Ithaca College, Lange studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and then moved to New York, where he spent a year as an assistant to famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. By religiously knocking on office doors in the Condé Nast building in the early ’80s, Lange started freelancing for magazines while living in a $7-per-night YMCA room. That feverish work ethic helped him find success shooting for Entertainment, Esquire and other popular magazines.
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