Paul Newman in race car smiling with blue backgroundFlorance Griffith Joyner in red leotard on magazine cover "Riva"

Paul Newman, 1977              

  Florence Griffith Joyner, 1988           

Pocono International, PA

  Malibu, CA   

In May of 1977 Paul Newman made a particularly strong impression on the young photographer. Steve Landis was granted access by Newman to be in his garage and pit area, during a Sportscar Club of America weekend race at Pocono International Raceway. Although he had set out to do a photo essay on the legendary actor and avid sportscar driver and had press credentials from the venue, Landis, always the optimist, had no advance permission from Newman or his people.
"It was a beautiful crisp spring day, and as I approached the actors' garage area, I could see that it was at the far end of all the drivers' garages. It was surrounded by a large area that was roped off to the public. I was able to get the attention of a woman who was associated with the Newman team and politely told her what I was there for, asking if I could have permission to freely roam about inside, in order to get better shots of him. She was pleasant but told me no. I asked her if she would to please explain to Mr. Newman what I'd told her, and if he said no, I'd accept it. She said she would ask, and I went away to get something to eat. Upon my return the young woman called out to me, excitedly relaying the news, 'Mr. Newman has agreed.' I think she was more surprised than I. But I was very excited and happy to have such an opportunity.
"When confronted with someone of Newman's stature you suddenly understand the difference between greatness and most everyone else. Newman is humble, interested in the world around him and still a very private person. He's a regular guy. If you don't invade his space, he will respect you. I was invited back by the pit crew after the Saturday session and eagerly decided to come back the next day . They made me feel like they took me seriously, and let me know that I was welcome anytime to come back and hang out. I never came back to the racetrack after that weekend but I was fortunate enough to photograph Paul a number of other times during that year. He was always the gentleman, even to a young kid like me."



One month before she went on to win 4 gold medals in the Seoul Olympics, Flo Jo was photographed by Steve Landis for the cover of British Magazine RIVA.  Cochise Silvercloud did her hair and make-up.  The multi-talented, multi-faceted Freddy Lopez did the assistant to the photographer duties.

More Florence Griffith-Joyner photographs by Steve Landis.

About the photographer . .
Steve Landis has travelled through many parts of the world during a career in professional photography incorporating the areas of photojournalism, fashion, beauty, and celebrity portrait photography for major publications for over 25 years.  Steve has turned his life over to Yeshua the Messiah, (Jesus the Christ) and now primarily photographs weddings, family, actor, and executive portraits.

"I have been greatly blessed during my life and give the glory and thanks to Yeshua for a renewed life of peace and joy," states Landis. 




All photographs and other content contained herein is owned by and Copyright 1975-2008 by Steve Landis.This web page Copyright 2008 by Steve Landis.  All other rights are reserved.

To contact Steve Landis please e-mail: For work related inquiries please write "Photo Work" in the Subject heading.All photographs ©stevelandis 1975-2008. All other rights reserved.