Being in the right place at the right time is luck. Being talented and in the right place at the right time is fate. Baron Wolman is the very talented photographer whose pictures help us know American life far better than had he not taken them.
Rolling Stone magazine
After getting a taste of photography while in the Army, Wolman lived in (the right place) San Francisco. Wolman was no Boomer (he was born on June 25, 1937), but Jann Wenner was when the two met in April 1967. The 21-year-old Wenner wanted Wolman to be the photographer for a rock music magazine Wenner had in mind. Wolman said he'd work for free if he could keep ownership of his pictures. A wise quid pro quo. Rolling Stone magazine would not have been the same without Wolman's pictures. Baron was Rolling Stone's photographer from 1967 to 1970, a short time, but perhaps no better stretch to be a part of the scene Rolling Stone wanted to cover. He says that he "shot his best stuff in '68 and '69...those were the halcyon days." His photos graced cover after cover of the magazine revealing the famous, the emerging, and behind the scene.
Woodstock Music and Art Fair
He photographed, not surprisingly, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and those photos are perhaps the best of any taken there. While shooting Santana that hot Saturday afternoon, Bill Graham took Wolman's camera to shoot a picture of Baron. No selfies then. His street-sign photo in the wooded Bindy Bazaar, the festivals "merch" area, now graces the entrance to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts--albeit slightly photo-shopped.
“True fashion starts on the street“
After Rolling Stone, Baron Wolman changed direction slightly and started to concentrate on fashion with his Rags magazine. As many knew, fashion trends often begin outside of actual fashion studios when someone decides that "others may think this combination odd, but it looks good" and a year later models are walking the runways with it.
He followed the Oakland Raiders in 1974 and produced Oakland Raiders: The Good Guys (1975)
Learning to fly
Wolman learned to fly and took pictures of California from his plane ( California From the Air: The Golden Coast (1981)) or pictures of Israel (The Holy Land: Israel From the Air (1987))
Santa Fe today
Wolman now lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico and continues to photograph and be a beacon of light both toward the future and from the past. He regularly posts on his musings and observations on his Facebook page. He is also on Instagram.
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