The Fro Interviews Famed Sports Photographer Neil Leifer

Photographers who have been in the industry measured not in years but decades always have wonderful insight and experience to pass on, and famed sports photographer Neil Leifer is no different. Jared Polin sits down with Leifer learning the stories around some of the most iconic sports photographs from the last 40 years.

Let me start off by saying Polin does a great job allowing Leifer time to answer questions, and go into details instead of rushing from question to question. Interviews that are nothing but rapid fire questions with short canned responses is what I’ve come to expect, so I appreciate the slower pace with more details about the different images and topics covered.

During part of the interview, Leifer reminisces about his iconic image where he captured the first round May 1965 knock out of Sonny Liston with Muhammad Ali standing over him. I had personally heard the story before, but hearing it from the person who actually captured the image really sheds new light on it.

Regarded as Leifer’s favorite image, the 1966 overhead shot featuring Muahmmid Ali striking a victory pose while Cleveland Williams is laid out on the canvas in the Houston Astrodome is also expounded upon during the interview, with details and equipment selection for the shot.

I’m a firm believer in learning from industry legends and what made them successful. With over 40 years worth of knowledge, Leifer gives the next generation of photographers inspiration as well as his knowledge to continue growing the profession. In my opinion, Polin does a great job hosting the interview allowing Leifer to expound on different questions, and provide context to the stories. Oprah and Ellen look out, "The Fro" can hold his own when it comes to interviews.

Make sure to check out Leifer’s work on his website, as well as Polin's website.

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5 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

It's nice to listen to legendary pros from a bygone era. Inspiring.

I'd love to see The Art Of Photography's interview too. Leifer got him to take it down though, but apparently it was great.

Douglas Turney's picture

Why did Leifer have Ted take it down? I just watched the Fro interview yesterday and found it to be very enjoyable. Would love to see a series on Netflx like the Chef's Table but with legendary photographers.

If you have access to Amazon Prime, theres a 10 episode series called "Contact" in which photographers from Magnum are interviewed about some of their most famous photographs: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B01FCILG48/ref=atv_wtlp_wtl_5

Douglas Turney's picture

Thanks Stephen. I'll check it out.