Cade Martin: Photographing the Photographer, William Eggleston

Cade got wind of a juke joint festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi and he hopped a flight.  It turned out to be a hurry up and wait deal when he learned the festival started a day later than he had thought. But Memphis, home of William Eggleston, with time to kill. Why not? A true original in the field for nearly 60 years, Eggleston turned his lens and his attention to the commonplace, finding stark beauty in the banal, and forever changing the aesthetic of the American photographic landscape through color.

A call to his son and he got the go-ahead, some advice only a son could give, and no guarantees that he’d get a chance to make this picture.  Upon walking into William Eggleston’s quiet apartment, he found him down a hall, lying on his bed smoking a cigarette. After a couple hours of visiting time, where he blew Cade away with his razor sharp memories of his work down to the camera he used in 1973, they came back around to creating his photograph. He put on his suit and ascot and Cade was able to convince him to come to the simple set he’d built in the park across the street.  He kept his promise on the 7 minutes.  As they worked outside, Cade asked Eggleston who was the most difficult person he’d worked with. He replied, “you.”