The photographer was Damien Bredberg, and the image won him Editorial Photographer of the Year in Australia in 2004. Adding to the fun of the image and backstory is the fact that it was his father who was the model.
How many of you could talk either of your parents into that kind of role? I remember joking around with my Dad when the issue was published. He said he was willing but not on a scooter. He wanted a Harley!
I don't remember his name, but he was from Arkansas and accused me of publishing porn! He screamed at me to cancel his subscription; that his granddaughter saw the issue and was embarrassed. Then he hung up on me.
But technology was on my side, and thanks to caller ID I called him back to get his name and address! I know you should never go head to head with an angry customer, but he'd pushed all my buttons. In all honesty, I was happy to let him go as a reader.
Then, a few days later I got a letter from a woman who also hated the cover. She tore it off the magazine and sent it to me with a note: "May the view from the back of this motorcycle rider be your just reward!" It took us a minute to realize she was referring to the obvious moon-shot.
I can only imagine the comments we would have gotten if we had shared this second image I found yesterday on the Vanishing Point website from a post in 2012. Click on the image above or below to for more of the story about "Scooter Man."
If you're not smiling for most of your day as a photographer then you're doing something wrong!