The Amazing Life and Legacy of Stan Einzig

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — For 30 years, Stan Einzig could be seen at trade shows all over the world, lugging his trademark 6-foot ladder on one shoulder with his cameras slung over the other. A friendly face as well as a friend to some of the biggest names in the industry, Stan has passed away. He is survived by his wife (and for many years business partner) Marlene and three children: David, Steve and Nancy. Stan turned 80 in August and was able to spend that milestone day surrounded by his loved ones.

What some might not realize about the Stan they knew from their trade shows is that he began his career in a very different milieu. After apprenticing under well-known society photographer Charles Leon and then with some of the Associated Press’ biggest-name photographers in the 1960s, he had the chance to photograph Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — including for the covers of Life, Vogue and Cosmopolitan — and became the one photographer to whom she would give access. The notoriously private former First Lady “just loved Stan,” recalled his son David, who is the Founder of VIP Guest Invites and IndustryConnect. “If she was going to let anyone photograph her life, it was going to be him.”

Stan also became the personal photographer to eccentric Surrealist painter Salvador Dali, working to photograph and catalog his artwork and various events such as birthdays, and eventually becoming his friend.

A highlight of his career was the chance to be backstage with The Beatles at Ed Sullivan Theater the night they introduced the world to rock and roll. “Dad was sort of this wild child photographer in those days doing all these crazy things, when at the same time he got an assignment at the New York Colosseum that changed his life,” David recalled. It was then that he discovered trade shows and Einzig Photographers was born.

He was able to apply his fresh, artistic eye to the show floor, including at the first-ever Consumer Electronics Show (CES). “Stan was our official photographer since CES began in 1967 in New York and worked with us well past the turn of the century,” Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, organizers of CES, said. “He was more than our photographer — he was our friend and part of our team. He was always kind, positive, patient and worked hard without complaint.

“I loved his stories about Jackie Kennedy and still wonder what happened to his shoeboxes of her photos that were never shared with the press!” Shapiro said. “Of course, he was also great at trade show shots, from ribbon-cutting to crowd shots to VIPs, group shots and crowded exhibit and aisle shots. I  picture him now at the entrance, directing the incoming throngs of VIPs to ‘Look this way!’ as he recorded their entrance for posterity.”

“He had a way of capturing the essence of the show floor in a way that looked jam-packed with crowds of people busy meeting and doing business,” David said. “If you were an exhibitor, you would say, ‘I need to be at this show!’”

In the years that followed, Stan would have the chance to photograph U.S. presidents including Bill Clinton and George Bush, as well as some of the biggest names in corporate America at their most pivotal moments, including Apple’s Steve Jobs during the introduction of the iPod. He would go on to win numerous awards, including the prestigious Diamond Award from the Professional Photographers of America.

But those in the trade show industry will always know and love him as … Stan.

“My father was a larger-than-life character with such enthusiasm, passion and sense of humor. He might have been working harder than anyone at these shows covering everything from one side of McCormick Place to the other, but it was never without a huge smile on his face and making everyone he met happier,” David said.

Following are a few recollections from his industry friends and colleagues:

  • “Stan was the person behind the creativity that made others look good,” Rick Simon, President & CEO of United Service Companies, said. “And while he worked with many famous people, he was humble in his manner and treated every person he came to work with just as special. Most notable was the business he created in the trade show industry. From the obscurity of being behind the camera in the days of big lenses and flash bulbs popping, he became a sought-after person to photograph those special exhibitors.”
  • Anthony (Tony) Calanca, Principal, Calanca & Associates, who managed domestic and international trade and consumer shows for Reed Exhibitions (RX), Advanstar, UBM and Informa, got to know Stan both from the show floor and through their shared passion of shark fishing in the waters off Montauk, Long Island. “Stan was the gold standard when it came to trade show photography. He turned trade show photography into an industry. For 30 years, we used him as our exclusive photographer for hundreds of shows. And a nicer man you couldn’t hope to meet.”
  • Robbi Lycett, President, Lycett Consulting, met Stan working in the trade show industry more than 40 years ago. “He was the absolute best at his trade and taught many others his tricks in trade show photography to get those great shots. Stan was a dear friend, whom I loved. He had such a great sense of humor and was so caring and kind. He loved his family, friends and his work, which he always seemed to have fun doing. I’ve been sick on his fishing boat, embarrassed a little by a joke or two that he played on me, listened to and loved his stories of the famous people he photographed, and introduced my family to his. My daughter still calls him Uncle Stan. Stan was a good man who will be missed by so many of us.”
  • “Stan was a pioneer in the events business and a truly fantastic business partner to anyone with whom he worked,” Chris Brown, Executive V.P., Conventions and Business Opps, National Association of Broadcasters, said. “He had a ready smile and was a pleasure to know. He was one of the good ones — someone who had a lasting impact on an industry and all the individuals he touched.”
  • “As the official photographer of some of the largest expositions of his time, Stan Einzig was a chronicler of some of the historic moments of our industry.  For those of us who ‘grew up with him,’ we knew that when he appeared, the show was on. We knew him as the pro who was everywhere, always with a smile and a nod, as important an affirmation as everyone else on the floor.  His legacy and memory are deeply felt and appreciated,” Sam Lippman Producer, Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF), Attendee Acquisition Roundtable, Exhibit Sales Roundtable, Large Show Roundtable, Digital Summit, said.