Go behind the scenes at Steve Jobs’ iconic 1984 Macworld photoshoot

Macworld

January 24 is the 40th anniversary of the Macintosh launch. It’s also the 40th anniversary of Macworld, which started as a print magazine. At the Apple annual shareholders meeting where the Mac was introduced to the public, copies of the first issue of Macworld were distributed, which features a cover with Steve Jobs and a trio of 128K Macs.

What was it like to work with Steve Jobs on a photoshoot? In episode 871 of the Macworld Podcast, we talk to Will Mosgrove, the photographer behind the iconic Steve Jobs photo that appeared on the very first issue of Macworld 40 years ago.

Will tells us the story of that photo. He talks about the shoot, what it was like to work with Steve Jobs, and the lasting effect of his work. A full transcript of the interview follows below the podcast embeds.

Listen to episode 871 on Apple Podcasts

Listen to episode 871 on Spotify

Transcript of interview with Will Mosgrove

RL: Macworld’s 40th anniversary is coming up. You took the cover picture for that first issue, so it’s kind of an iconic image. So, I thought maybe we could talk about it and the story behind it.

WM: It’s, you know, 40 years ago. That’s quite a while ago. So, some of the memories have faded a little bit. It was a monumental shot and certainly, I was pleased and honored to do it at the time, not knowing exactly what even Macworld was at that point. Yeah, it was quite amazing. 

RL: Yeah, so why don’t we start at the beginning? I attended a 30th anniversary. That was 10 years ago. There was a thing in San Jose. They were having a 30th-anniversary celebration of the Macintosh. And David Bunnell was there, and he told the story behind shooting the cover of Macworld.

Back then, Macworld was just starting up as a magazine. You weren’t on staff at Macworld at the time you were a freelance photographer?

WM: That’s correct, yes. I was relatively new in the Bay Area and in San Francisco with my career. I had graduated from the Academy of Art College at that point (now the Academy of Art University) and I was making my way into jobs and trying to get my career going and I happened to come across a fellow, John Casado, who I had met earlier on when I was doing some assisting with different photographers and he hired me for my first real job.

And it was a big smashing success and a great booster for me in my career. John was an internationally known designer and he hired me to do some black-and-white photography for Royal Robbins, a clothing company. And the criteria was just, make some great photos and he was going to design the catalog around my 4-by-5 black and white photography work, which is like, wow, how can you be any better than that? We did the project. It was a lot of fun. It was very successful. 

I got a lot of name recognition and my name kind of floated down to Apple and they said, can you come down and show us some work? And I showed it to them and they said, oh you know, John Casado. And that just opened up so many doors. So, I started doing a little piecemeal work for Apple here and there, which kind of grew and grew, where eventually it was coming down on a freelance basis, usually about twice a week for about three years or so. I got to know a lot of the designers and the creative services department and met some friends. And all of a sudden, I did a little bit of work.

I’d heard about Macworld magazine, they were going to be getting started. And they said, we’d like you to come in and take a photograph of Steve with these new computers. And I had heard little bits and pieces about it because just being on the periphery of Apple down in their design services. 

So, we set it up at the Macworld facility down on 2nd and Bryant [in San Francisco]. Sight unseen I didn’t really know what we were doing, didn’t even know the machines, plugged them in, kind of took a look at them.

It was kind of funny, I was looking at the picture just a little while ago and one of the things that was interesting is that I’d never seen a mouse before, we didn’t even know what they really did. So, they kind of set up the three computers, and I believe–I can’t remember exactly–David was around in the in the background. I don’t think he was actually there for the shoot, but they said we want to do this, and the mouse had that little cord going out of the back. 

“Steve’s not going to give you a lot of time, which I kind of knew about. He’s famous–or infamous–for not really enjoying photo shoots.”

Now, down the road, we all learned that, you know, they were kind of a hard wire, flexible but a harder plastic kind of a wire, which connected the mouse to the machine. And looking at the photograph, it’s kind of funny because it looks so inelegant. And then we learned down the road that you take the wire or the cord and you dip it into hot water and it would flex that or soften up the plastic. And then you bring it out and you could just make really nice little curvy, you know, beautiful little loops with it. But I was looking at this like, god, it looks so awkward with these little strange tails coming off the mouse. 

So, we set it up and we got there plenty of early because they said, you know, Steve’s not going to give you a lot of time, which I kind of knew about. He’s famous–or infamous–for not really enjoying photo shoots and he doesn’t enjoy photographers very much anyway. 

So, we are all set up and ready to go. And he walked in, and he had his suit on, which was kind of surprising because we didn’t know what he was going to wear. It didn’t really matter, but he was so known for not wearing formal clothing. And they said, okay, let’s get going here. And so, we set it up.

We did a couple of quick Polaroids and make sure everything was looking good, lighting-wise. Shot about five minutes or so, and he said, are we done? And I said, we can be, I’d like to try a couple of different things. And he said, well, I’d like to try something, too. 

So, he started making this really kind of interesting, zany kind of symbols with his hands, and I kind of looked over to the people from Macworld and they were just kind of shaking their heads–don’t worry, we’re not going to use those. [Laughs.] We played along with it and shot some film, and it was literally over in probably 15 to 20 minutes.

RL: Yeah, it was pretty much in, take a few shots, out.

WM: He has very little patience for, well, in my opinion, for having somebody else telling him what to do. And the whole thing with photography, where I’d say, Steve, can you try this? I’m giving him suggestions on things to do. And he’s so used to saying, here’s what we’re going to do. And here’s why, and I’m just going to do it. 

Since then, I’d photographed him another three or four times and had some colossal failures and trying to make that work. But I think we kind of understood each other and he kind of put up with me and I was doing the best we could to make him get what he wanted from it. 

RL: One of the things that David Bunnell liked to talk about in terms of when it came to that shoot is–and maybe, you know, it’s part of the storytelling, you kind of want to make the story a little bit exciting and stuff. He made it sound a little more contentious, that maybe that was just his perspective than maybe it sounds like you thought it was.

WM: Well, I remember Steve didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. He was just kind of standing, you know, kind of, I think, if I remember correctly, kind of stiffly, not really doing anything. So, we were trying to say, you know, can you feel a little more relaxed? Can you step to the side? Can you lean on the machines? Can you do something just so it’s not just somebody standing? You know, you’ve got a table, you’ve got the three Macs, you’ve got a person behind it looking stiff and irregular?

So, the contentiousness was, first of all, Steve hates photographers, as I mentioned, didn’t really want to be there, felt it was, you know, something to do to promote the machines and wanted in and out as fast as he could possibly do it. My job is to make sure, yes, the client is happy. You know, first and foremost, you guys get what you need, that the subject is comfortable in what they’re doing. But we get what is needed from the subject, who’s there and just not have them walk in and walk out and, you know, and not get what needs to be gotten done. 

RL: One of the anecdotes that Bunnell liked to talk about was that during the photo shoot, he flipped you off–he gave you the bird while you were doing the shoot!

WM: I don’t have any strong recollection of that, but it could have happened. [Laughs.]

In hindsight, when Steve was off the board, when he was no longer the president of Apple, but they were trying to bring him back in some capacity, we were doing the annual report for Apple, and they flew me to Sweden for a week.

There was a university consortium going on, and at the end of this–it was in Lund, Sweden–Steve was going to fly in from Stockholm, and they wanted a photograph of him coming into this castle location, showing the landscape in the background, looking down at the castle, saying he’s going to this consortium of Macintosh users to kind of give him a look like a world leader. Here he is in a European country coming down to talk to university people. [Apple asked if I could] travel with him in this helicopter to take this shot. And I said, yeah, of course.

So I went to Sweden, was there for five or six days, kind of loosely documenting this consortium. And then on a, I don’t know, Friday afternoon or something, they said, okay, Steve’s flying in from Stockholm. Let’s go to the airport so you get a helicopter there. We’d like him to come be looking out the window. If you can get the castle in the background, the beautiful landscape. I said, sure, let’s go. 

And as I’m getting my camera out and ready to go, he said, you know, I don’t think I want any pictures. And I said, well, okay…Can we just think about this? 

I was by myself. I had my camera gear. We got there early. The helicopter was a little bit delayed. I’m talking to Steve just about knickknacks and this thing and the other thing. We find this helicopter, they say, ‘OK, we’re ready.’

He goes in and sits in the front seat next to the pilot with his back to me. I’m in the backseat with Steve’s aide and there’s no way I could even see him. I had to get up and go and run around the corner. I said, Steve, I need you in the backseat because we’re going to do this shot of you with a castle in the background, showing the landscape, showing you kind of, you know, in a world leader kind of capacity for Apple.

And so, he begrudgingly said, oh yeah, okay, okay. So, he came back, sat in the seat, you know, in the back seat, this little four-seater in the back. And he and I are knee to knee and my camera gear is over here and his aid is next to him. So, we take off, we get about an eight-minute ride to this, this dinner at the castle to close off the consortium. 

And as I’m getting my camera out and ready to go, he said, you know, I don’t think I want any pictures. And I said, well, okay, you know, they flew me from California to Sweden to get this shot and you know, I’m here and I’m ready to do it. Can we just think about this? 

He kind of grunted and I was looking through the camera again doing this. He goes, I don’t think I really want any photographs.

I said, well how about if we take some photographs and you take a look at them? If you don’t want to use them that’s fine with me, but you know, Tom Hughes (who was the artistic director) said can you get this shot, and I said, yeah, and I need to come back with something. And he goes, I don’t want any photographs. 

There’s about 30 seconds of awkward silence. And, you know, I kind of was playing, I start picking up one more time. He goes, no fucking photos. So I went, okay, put the camera away. And his aide was kind of saying, you know, don’t, that’s it. We’re done. 

Before I even get ahold of Tom, I got a message when we got back to the consortium, all the Apple folks were there. He said, Tom heard about the, uh, the incident today with Steve. He said, don’t worry about it. [Laughs.] Crap, you know, they flew me over there. you know, a week’s worth of time, not one frame. 

And so, I felt like, just crap but Steve, he wasn’t going to go for it.  And I couldn’t, you know, not do that. He would have just really flipped the bird or get really with it, gotten pissed off at me. That’s his kind of relationship with photographers who he didn’t, just didn’t like being around. 

RL: You were doing more people management than just being able to be free to do your art. You had to deal with a lot more than just trying to get a good shot. 

WM: Starting my career, I got to be known for photographing people who don’t like to be in front of the camera or not used to it. I was pretty good at it. I can do small talk and get people loosened up and usually make them feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera. 

But he’s a brilliant, brilliant guy. And he was used to things going the way he wanted them to be. And rarely, I think, was he ever second-guessed on that. 

RL: Were there other instances where you were involved? Or was that the end? 

WM: That was actually the beginning because I never met him before. 

And then, I was down at Apple and there was there were several instances of getting shots for them, they needed something or another and I was called down to do some photographs.

We did one shot, prior to this one, where we photographed the Macintosh, the Pirate team, when they had the pirate flag and their group of 40 or so individuals who were the top-secret group working on Macintosh, an industrial building that was probably a half a mile or so away from the Apple main headquarters. 

It was a pirate flag and Steve was kind of in the center… it was the team talking about this private, secret project that nobody knew anything about, but it turned out to be the Macintosh.

And everybody came out of the building, and we did a group shot. Everybody’s in and around the front of the building. It was a pirate flag and Steve was kind of in the center and just, it was the team talking about this private, secret project that nobody knew anything about, but it turned out to be the Macintosh. 

RL: After that [Macworld cover] photo got published, was there any effect in terms of like, your career, or what kind of feedback did you get on that particular photo? 

WM: When it first came out, it was like, oh, interesting, you know, that’s Steve Jobs. But as the months and years went after that, it gained a lot of respect from my peers.  A lot of people are going, wow, how in the world did you ever, you know, get to photograph Steve Jobs before the Macintosh actually came out?

And it was just a matter of, you know, being at the right time at the right spot and knowing a few folks at Macworld and having the people at Apple who knew me, who knew Steve, saying here’s the guy that we’d like to put forward as the one getting this done so it was a real honor.

RL: So, you continued your career as a photographer but are you still doing that are you still do you still consider that your primary career?

WM: No, I retired from the industry in 2015. I had a very active business in San Francisco I considered to be very successful. It kept me alive for a long time.

And then as things started to slow down for the industry in general, I was approached by the Academy of Art University to take on their directorship of their master’s photography program. I did that for nine years and then retired in 2015 from that and retired up to a very small community up in the foothills in the gold country. 

RL: They call it, is it called Moke Hill? 

WM: Mokelumne Hill.

RL: Mokelumne Hill! That’s right. 

WM: There’s Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite and that’s the “people of the meadows.” And Mokelumne is “people of the river.” And the Mokelumne River flows not far from us. It’s kind of a dividing line between two counties.

RL: I saw on Facebook, something you call Acme Art. Is that correct?

WM: Yes. When we moved up here, my wife is a graphic designer. We met in art school, and she had a very successful business on her own as well. And when we moved up here, we both kind of separated from our careers, but we started a business called Acme Art, where we taught art classes to the local community.

And because we’re in such a small town the first year everybody took art class and then they said okay we’ve taken the art class let’s slow down a fair amount.

We now run the summer art camp for elementary school students in our community and we also have music in the park which I direct to bring in music as a free series in the fall. 

RL: I don’t know, is it correct to say that it’s an art collective?

WM: Well, not really a collective. We had we had guest speakers come in and guest artists to give out workshops and whatnot. Again, our town is about 600 people, so it’s very small and some are very old. It’s just a beautiful area up in the foothills.

RL: Did your photography career involve also taking pictures of a lot more, a lot of other famous people, so to speak?

WM: Yeah, a fair amount. Yeah, celebrities of various points. Because again, what I really pushed was to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera.

And so, we did some work for some television folks down in Los Angeles and sports people in the Bay Area and just a wide variety of people, which included a fair amount of well-known celebrities.

Again, 40 years ago, the stories are out there, and I’m sure, David, a few people talk about it. So, I’m not sure I know more to it, but it’s interesting that, you know. And congratulations, on going for 40 years to the magazine. That’s that never form that’s happening these days. It’s pretty interesting.

It amazes me, looking back at those little Macintosh machines, that it has little icons as Susan Kare created for the draw programs. We were all astounded at that point that it can even be that. But to look at what the Macintosh machines and computers are now, it’s just like, whoa.

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Apple Inc, Mac

​Macworld Macworld

January 24 is the 40th anniversary of the Macintosh launch. It’s also the 40th anniversary of Macworld, which started as a print magazine. At the Apple annual shareholders meeting where the Mac was introduced to the public, copies of the first issue of Macworld were distributed, which features a cover with Steve Jobs and a trio of 128K Macs.

What was it like to work with Steve Jobs on a photoshoot? In episode 871 of the Macworld Podcast, we talk to Will Mosgrove, the photographer behind the iconic Steve Jobs photo that appeared on the very first issue of Macworld 40 years ago.

Will tells us the story of that photo. He talks about the shoot, what it was like to work with Steve Jobs, and the lasting effect of his work. A full transcript of the interview follows below the podcast embeds.

Listen to episode 871 on Apple Podcasts

Listen to episode 871 on Spotify

Transcript of interview with Will Mosgrove

RL: Macworld’s 40th anniversary is coming up. You took the cover picture for that first issue, so it’s kind of an iconic image. So, I thought maybe we could talk about it and the story behind it.

WM: It’s, you know, 40 years ago. That’s quite a while ago. So, some of the memories have faded a little bit. It was a monumental shot and certainly, I was pleased and honored to do it at the time, not knowing exactly what even Macworld was at that point. Yeah, it was quite amazing. 

RL: Yeah, so why don’t we start at the beginning? I attended a 30th anniversary. That was 10 years ago. There was a thing in San Jose. They were having a 30th-anniversary celebration of the Macintosh. And David Bunnell was there, and he told the story behind shooting the cover of Macworld.

Back then, Macworld was just starting up as a magazine. You weren’t on staff at Macworld at the time you were a freelance photographer?

WM: That’s correct, yes. I was relatively new in the Bay Area and in San Francisco with my career. I had graduated from the Academy of Art College at that point (now the Academy of Art University) and I was making my way into jobs and trying to get my career going and I happened to come across a fellow, John Casado, who I had met earlier on when I was doing some assisting with different photographers and he hired me for my first real job.

And it was a big smashing success and a great booster for me in my career. John was an internationally known designer and he hired me to do some black-and-white photography for Royal Robbins, a clothing company. And the criteria was just, make some great photos and he was going to design the catalog around my 4-by-5 black and white photography work, which is like, wow, how can you be any better than that? We did the project. It was a lot of fun. It was very successful. 

I got a lot of name recognition and my name kind of floated down to Apple and they said, can you come down and show us some work? And I showed it to them and they said, oh you know, John Casado. And that just opened up so many doors. So, I started doing a little piecemeal work for Apple here and there, which kind of grew and grew, where eventually it was coming down on a freelance basis, usually about twice a week for about three years or so. I got to know a lot of the designers and the creative services department and met some friends. And all of a sudden, I did a little bit of work.

I’d heard about Macworld magazine, they were going to be getting started. And they said, we’d like you to come in and take a photograph of Steve with these new computers. And I had heard little bits and pieces about it because just being on the periphery of Apple down in their design services. 

So, we set it up at the Macworld facility down on 2nd and Bryant [in San Francisco]. Sight unseen I didn’t really know what we were doing, didn’t even know the machines, plugged them in, kind of took a look at them.

It was kind of funny, I was looking at the picture just a little while ago and one of the things that was interesting is that I’d never seen a mouse before, we didn’t even know what they really did. So, they kind of set up the three computers, and I believe–I can’t remember exactly–David was around in the in the background. I don’t think he was actually there for the shoot, but they said we want to do this, and the mouse had that little cord going out of the back. 

“Steve’s not going to give you a lot of time, which I kind of knew about. He’s famous–or infamous–for not really enjoying photo shoots.”

Now, down the road, we all learned that, you know, they were kind of a hard wire, flexible but a harder plastic kind of a wire, which connected the mouse to the machine. And looking at the photograph, it’s kind of funny because it looks so inelegant. And then we learned down the road that you take the wire or the cord and you dip it into hot water and it would flex that or soften up the plastic. And then you bring it out and you could just make really nice little curvy, you know, beautiful little loops with it. But I was looking at this like, god, it looks so awkward with these little strange tails coming off the mouse. 

So, we set it up and we got there plenty of early because they said, you know, Steve’s not going to give you a lot of time, which I kind of knew about. He’s famous–or infamous–for not really enjoying photo shoots and he doesn’t enjoy photographers very much anyway. 

So, we are all set up and ready to go. And he walked in, and he had his suit on, which was kind of surprising because we didn’t know what he was going to wear. It didn’t really matter, but he was so known for not wearing formal clothing. And they said, okay, let’s get going here. And so, we set it up.

We did a couple of quick Polaroids and make sure everything was looking good, lighting-wise. Shot about five minutes or so, and he said, are we done? And I said, we can be, I’d like to try a couple of different things. And he said, well, I’d like to try something, too. 

So, he started making this really kind of interesting, zany kind of symbols with his hands, and I kind of looked over to the people from Macworld and they were just kind of shaking their heads–don’t worry, we’re not going to use those. [Laughs.] We played along with it and shot some film, and it was literally over in probably 15 to 20 minutes.

RL: Yeah, it was pretty much in, take a few shots, out.

WM: He has very little patience for, well, in my opinion, for having somebody else telling him what to do. And the whole thing with photography, where I’d say, Steve, can you try this? I’m giving him suggestions on things to do. And he’s so used to saying, here’s what we’re going to do. And here’s why, and I’m just going to do it. 

Since then, I’d photographed him another three or four times and had some colossal failures and trying to make that work. But I think we kind of understood each other and he kind of put up with me and I was doing the best we could to make him get what he wanted from it. 

RL: One of the things that David Bunnell liked to talk about in terms of when it came to that shoot is–and maybe, you know, it’s part of the storytelling, you kind of want to make the story a little bit exciting and stuff. He made it sound a little more contentious, that maybe that was just his perspective than maybe it sounds like you thought it was.

WM: Well, I remember Steve didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. He was just kind of standing, you know, kind of, I think, if I remember correctly, kind of stiffly, not really doing anything. So, we were trying to say, you know, can you feel a little more relaxed? Can you step to the side? Can you lean on the machines? Can you do something just so it’s not just somebody standing? You know, you’ve got a table, you’ve got the three Macs, you’ve got a person behind it looking stiff and irregular?

So, the contentiousness was, first of all, Steve hates photographers, as I mentioned, didn’t really want to be there, felt it was, you know, something to do to promote the machines and wanted in and out as fast as he could possibly do it. My job is to make sure, yes, the client is happy. You know, first and foremost, you guys get what you need, that the subject is comfortable in what they’re doing. But we get what is needed from the subject, who’s there and just not have them walk in and walk out and, you know, and not get what needs to be gotten done. 

RL: One of the anecdotes that Bunnell liked to talk about was that during the photo shoot, he flipped you off–he gave you the bird while you were doing the shoot!

WM: I don’t have any strong recollection of that, but it could have happened. [Laughs.]

In hindsight, when Steve was off the board, when he was no longer the president of Apple, but they were trying to bring him back in some capacity, we were doing the annual report for Apple, and they flew me to Sweden for a week.

There was a university consortium going on, and at the end of this–it was in Lund, Sweden–Steve was going to fly in from Stockholm, and they wanted a photograph of him coming into this castle location, showing the landscape in the background, looking down at the castle, saying he’s going to this consortium of Macintosh users to kind of give him a look like a world leader. Here he is in a European country coming down to talk to university people. [Apple asked if I could] travel with him in this helicopter to take this shot. And I said, yeah, of course.

So I went to Sweden, was there for five or six days, kind of loosely documenting this consortium. And then on a, I don’t know, Friday afternoon or something, they said, okay, Steve’s flying in from Stockholm. Let’s go to the airport so you get a helicopter there. We’d like him to come be looking out the window. If you can get the castle in the background, the beautiful landscape. I said, sure, let’s go. 

And as I’m getting my camera out and ready to go, he said, you know, I don’t think I want any pictures. And I said, well, okay…Can we just think about this? 

I was by myself. I had my camera gear. We got there early. The helicopter was a little bit delayed. I’m talking to Steve just about knickknacks and this thing and the other thing. We find this helicopter, they say, ‘OK, we’re ready.’

He goes in and sits in the front seat next to the pilot with his back to me. I’m in the backseat with Steve’s aide and there’s no way I could even see him. I had to get up and go and run around the corner. I said, Steve, I need you in the backseat because we’re going to do this shot of you with a castle in the background, showing the landscape, showing you kind of, you know, in a world leader kind of capacity for Apple.

And so, he begrudgingly said, oh yeah, okay, okay. So, he came back, sat in the seat, you know, in the back seat, this little four-seater in the back. And he and I are knee to knee and my camera gear is over here and his aid is next to him. So, we take off, we get about an eight-minute ride to this, this dinner at the castle to close off the consortium. 

And as I’m getting my camera out and ready to go, he said, you know, I don’t think I want any pictures. And I said, well, okay, you know, they flew me from California to Sweden to get this shot and you know, I’m here and I’m ready to do it. Can we just think about this? 

He kind of grunted and I was looking through the camera again doing this. He goes, I don’t think I really want any photographs.

I said, well how about if we take some photographs and you take a look at them? If you don’t want to use them that’s fine with me, but you know, Tom Hughes (who was the artistic director) said can you get this shot, and I said, yeah, and I need to come back with something. And he goes, I don’t want any photographs. 

There’s about 30 seconds of awkward silence. And, you know, I kind of was playing, I start picking up one more time. He goes, no fucking photos. So I went, okay, put the camera away. And his aide was kind of saying, you know, don’t, that’s it. We’re done. 

Before I even get ahold of Tom, I got a message when we got back to the consortium, all the Apple folks were there. He said, Tom heard about the, uh, the incident today with Steve. He said, don’t worry about it. [Laughs.] Crap, you know, they flew me over there. you know, a week’s worth of time, not one frame. 

And so, I felt like, just crap but Steve, he wasn’t going to go for it.  And I couldn’t, you know, not do that. He would have just really flipped the bird or get really with it, gotten pissed off at me. That’s his kind of relationship with photographers who he didn’t, just didn’t like being around. 

RL: You were doing more people management than just being able to be free to do your art. You had to deal with a lot more than just trying to get a good shot. 

WM: Starting my career, I got to be known for photographing people who don’t like to be in front of the camera or not used to it. I was pretty good at it. I can do small talk and get people loosened up and usually make them feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera. 

But he’s a brilliant, brilliant guy. And he was used to things going the way he wanted them to be. And rarely, I think, was he ever second-guessed on that. 

RL: Were there other instances where you were involved? Or was that the end? 

WM: That was actually the beginning because I never met him before. 

And then, I was down at Apple and there was there were several instances of getting shots for them, they needed something or another and I was called down to do some photographs.

We did one shot, prior to this one, where we photographed the Macintosh, the Pirate team, when they had the pirate flag and their group of 40 or so individuals who were the top-secret group working on Macintosh, an industrial building that was probably a half a mile or so away from the Apple main headquarters. 

It was a pirate flag and Steve was kind of in the center… it was the team talking about this private, secret project that nobody knew anything about, but it turned out to be the Macintosh.

And everybody came out of the building, and we did a group shot. Everybody’s in and around the front of the building. It was a pirate flag and Steve was kind of in the center and just, it was the team talking about this private, secret project that nobody knew anything about, but it turned out to be the Macintosh. 

RL: After that [Macworld cover] photo got published, was there any effect in terms of like, your career, or what kind of feedback did you get on that particular photo? 

WM: When it first came out, it was like, oh, interesting, you know, that’s Steve Jobs. But as the months and years went after that, it gained a lot of respect from my peers.  A lot of people are going, wow, how in the world did you ever, you know, get to photograph Steve Jobs before the Macintosh actually came out?

And it was just a matter of, you know, being at the right time at the right spot and knowing a few folks at Macworld and having the people at Apple who knew me, who knew Steve, saying here’s the guy that we’d like to put forward as the one getting this done so it was a real honor.

RL: So, you continued your career as a photographer but are you still doing that are you still do you still consider that your primary career?

WM: No, I retired from the industry in 2015. I had a very active business in San Francisco I considered to be very successful. It kept me alive for a long time.

And then as things started to slow down for the industry in general, I was approached by the Academy of Art University to take on their directorship of their master’s photography program. I did that for nine years and then retired in 2015 from that and retired up to a very small community up in the foothills in the gold country. 

RL: They call it, is it called Moke Hill? 

WM: Mokelumne Hill.

RL: Mokelumne Hill! That’s right. 

WM: There’s Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite and that’s the “people of the meadows.” And Mokelumne is “people of the river.” And the Mokelumne River flows not far from us. It’s kind of a dividing line between two counties.

RL: I saw on Facebook, something you call Acme Art. Is that correct?

WM: Yes. When we moved up here, my wife is a graphic designer. We met in art school, and she had a very successful business on her own as well. And when we moved up here, we both kind of separated from our careers, but we started a business called Acme Art, where we taught art classes to the local community.

And because we’re in such a small town the first year everybody took art class and then they said okay we’ve taken the art class let’s slow down a fair amount.

We now run the summer art camp for elementary school students in our community and we also have music in the park which I direct to bring in music as a free series in the fall. 

RL: I don’t know, is it correct to say that it’s an art collective?

WM: Well, not really a collective. We had we had guest speakers come in and guest artists to give out workshops and whatnot. Again, our town is about 600 people, so it’s very small and some are very old. It’s just a beautiful area up in the foothills.

RL: Did your photography career involve also taking pictures of a lot more, a lot of other famous people, so to speak?

WM: Yeah, a fair amount. Yeah, celebrities of various points. Because again, what I really pushed was to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera.

And so, we did some work for some television folks down in Los Angeles and sports people in the Bay Area and just a wide variety of people, which included a fair amount of well-known celebrities.

Again, 40 years ago, the stories are out there, and I’m sure, David, a few people talk about it. So, I’m not sure I know more to it, but it’s interesting that, you know. And congratulations, on going for 40 years to the magazine. That’s that never form that’s happening these days. It’s pretty interesting.

It amazes me, looking back at those little Macintosh machines, that it has little icons as Susan Kare created for the draw programs. We were all astounded at that point that it can even be that. But to look at what the Macintosh machines and computers are now, it’s just like, whoa.

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