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Steve Jobs’ photographer shares memories of working with IT genius

Published time: March 28, 2012 18:46
Edited time: April 11, 2012 22:41

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs's portrait on the Federation Tower of the Moscow-City Business Center (RIA Novosti / Grigory Sysoev)

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Photographer Doug Menuez, who spent three years with Steve Jobs making a photo essay about his work, recalled the IT genius’ character, his relations with colleagues, and the most stirring period in Apple history.

­Becoming Jobs’ personal photographer was no way an easy deal, Menuez recalled.

“He was very secretive and very controlling, but at that time such an opportunity arose as he was forced out of Apple, publicly humiliated,” the photographer told RT. “He was trying to make a comeback. I thought it was a perfect moment to go in and tell his story. So I called him with this idea – to follow the human side of developing technology.”

Menuez had a chance to photograph Jobs at his most painful, but also productive, time.

“He was bitter and angry about Apple’s move against him, but he was still very excited about his new idea,” Menuez said. “He was all about doing the cool stuff that was impossible. He really started to believe it could be done. It was very interesting and exciting to watch.”

Contrary to a range of post-mortem publications portraying Jobs as a tyrant hated by all his staff, according to Menuez’s observations, the Apple father was much loved and respected by his colleagues.

“He was a terrifying perfectionist, but all his people signed for that,” Menuez said. “They knew that if they were going to work with Steve, it would be the most difficult time and challenge. Part of Steve’s genius was getting people to work above their talents. It could be abuse of their time, but it was also about trust. He had a very hard time trusting people.”

Menduez recalled how Jobs’ engineers would come to him with their new idea and he would repeat that he did not like it a dozen times – until suddenly it hit his mind that it was what he wanted.

“Before photographing Jobs, I was working in Africa, and many of my colleagues said I was insane to agree to photograph him,” Menduez told RT. “But it was very fascinating to me. I though he much deserved a photo essay. I thought it was just important to be a witness – a naïve witness.”