Family Photos

A Poignant Reunion

Its been a long time since I last laid eyes on Lisabeth Pesch. She was an infant and her father, Leo, was my photographic mentor while I attended the University of Wisconsin. In 1952 Leo was completing a stint as a US Army photographer when Life magazine offered him a job.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime, but Leo demurred, reluctantly I would guess. Instead, he returned to Peshtigo, Wisconsin to shoot news and write sports for his father’s newspaper, the Peshtigo Times. In the early days of my photographic journey, I learned much from Leo; the basics of course,  but the power of the image and journalistic truth as well. So imagine my surprise when his daughter Lisabeth, who was a year old at the time, reached out to me recently and asked if I’d shoot a family portrait. After all, they hadn’t sat for one in at least a decade and she remembered my long-standing friendship with her father. Her husband, Mark Pilot and their children Avery and Owen made it an enjoyable experience and of course, Lis and I reminisced about the long days and deadline challenges in the pre-digital days.