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Farewell: Orlando Suero, 1925–2019

A reflection from our Consulting Editor for Photography Art Books, Nadine Barth.

He was kind and respectful and uncomplicated and fast, allowing him to get very close to the big names of the film industry—its stars and directors. Without abashment or outside assistance, they revealed their natural side to him, and Orlando Suero, whom everyone simply called “Orlando,” took ravishing photos on film sets such as Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain (1966) and Hell in the Pacific (1968) starring Lee Marvin, at private dinners or on the beach, and captured an unforgettable Brigitte Bardot dressed as Charlie Chaplin. He photographed Paul Newman, Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Natalie Wood, and Eartha Kitt. His first assignment, however,—his own idea—was the most spectacular of all. He spent five days with a young politician and his wife in 1954, photographing them in their home and garden, playing ball, reading, and playing records. They were none other than Senator J.F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. The eventual First Lady later wrote ot the photographer, “If I'd realized what a wonderful photographer you were ... I never would have been the jittery subject I was.” 
Stored away in boxes, Orlando's photographs were forgotten for a long time until his son Jim, together with a friend, the producer Rod Hamilton, resurrected this treasure trove with the idea for a book. Many images had never been published before. In preparation for the book, Jim had a long conversation with his father which ended with the wise piece of advice for young photographers to “stay loose in the framework and don't let the program throw you.” When the book finally appeared it was greatly celebrated by audiences and the press alike. Another Magazine wrote, “93–year–old photographer Orlando Suero's work is finally receiving its due.”
On Monday night Orlando passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loved ones. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. It was a great honor and pleasure to publish the wonderful book, Orlando: Photography, in our publishing house.

August 22, 2019

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