I first met Joe Weider in 1968 through my dear friend Art Zeller, the master of the “decisive photographic moment.” Joe collected the best photographers because he had an artist’s eye and he appreciated photography. Joe understood the power of the photograph to inspire, and Joe was all about inspiration.
The other bodybuilding magazines of the time saw photography merely as illustration, to fill pages; Joe saw it as an inspirational art form that was essential to his vision. He knew that wonderful photography would create the reader’s “want”—which was the first step toward transformation. The photo held out the possibility that you, too, could change.
So the pictures created a hunger. Joe used photography to capture not only the beauty and power of a physique but also the sense that having that physique would open a door to a special place. Along with the images of magnificent athletes, Joe created a world that was glamorous and fun. You wanted to be a part of it.