Friday, July 17, 2015

There Was Always a Place to Crash OPENING TONIGHT

The gallery exhibition for There Was Always a Place to Crash opens this evening in Provincetown, Mass. at Gallery Ehva.

Here is some press coverage of the gallery exhibition at Provincetown Magazine and The Provincetown Banner.

Thanks to Letter 16 Press for all their hard work in publishing There Was Always a Place to Crash: Al Kaplan's Provincetown 1962–1966. The book is at the printers now and will be available very soon.

Friday, May 29, 2015

There Was Always a Place to Crash: Al Kaplan’s Provincetown 1962-1966

Monday, May 18, 2015

Al Kaplan Photography Show this Summer

Al Kaplan
Photograph by Al Kaplan, Josephine Del Deo speaking at an anti-nuclear weapons rally at the Bas Relief

If you are in Cape Cod this summer, head to Gallery Ehva to see prints of work my father shot between 1962 and 1966. The photos are from There Was Always A Place To Crash, a volume of my father's photos forthcoming in a few weeks from Letter 16 press and edited by Brett Sokol. The show will run July 17-29, 2015. I will post information about how you can get a copy of the book when it is available.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jefferson Airplane in Strawberry Fields Newspaper - Miami 1969

I was digging around and came across this page from the June 6, 1969 issue of Strawberry Fields, an underground paper published in Miami in the late 1960s. The pictures are by my late father, Al Kaplan. They are of a Jefferson Airplane concert he shot when he was a contributing photographer for Strawberry Fields. Sorry for the poor scan, but I thought folks might enjoy pictures none the less. As always, the images are copyright protected.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Al Kaplan to be inducted into the North Miami Citizens’ Hall of Fame

North Miami Citizens’ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Friday, 04/29/11 at 10:30 a.m.

North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125 Street – Second floor lobby

Join the North Miami City Council to honor two residents, Clarence Merke and Al Kaplan (posthumously), who are to be inducted into the North Miami Citizens’ Hall of Fame for their dedication and activism in the city of North Miami.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Al Kaplan Memorial Scholarship at Barry University

The Kaplan family has established a memorial scholarship for photography students at Barry University in memory of Al Kaplan and in honor of his lifelong love of film-based photography. Barry University was chosen both because of Al’s long relationship with the University (he did public relations photography for them for many years) and because the Barry University photography program is committed to maintaining the tradition of film-based photography and darkroom technique.

The Al Kaplan Memorial Scholarship is a merit-based and need-based scholarship designed to assist deserving students of promise in photography. The scholarship will ensure that future generations of photographers can be educated in the “Silver is Better” philosophy to which Al stayed true.

To build the scholarship fund and to continue Al’s legacy, the family is asking those who were touched by Al and wish to make a contribution in his honor to do so towards the scholarship. Contributions of any amount are encouraged. In fact, if everyone who read Al’s blog contributed just $10, the scholarship would be fully endowed and would last in perpetuity! All contributions are tax deductible for United States income tax purposes. Contributions can be made on-line or by mail.

On-line Contributions: Please go to to make an on-line contribution by credit card. Under the heading “Apply gift to” check the box for “Other” and write “Al Kaplan Scholarship” in the blank.

By Mail Contribution: Checks should be made to “Barry University” and the designation to the “Al Kaplan Memorial Scholarship” should be included in the memo line on the check. Checks should be mailed to:

Thomas Paul Severino
Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Barry University
11300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami Shores, Fl 33161-6695

If you have questions, you may contact Mr. Severino at the address above or by phone or e-mail at:

Office phone: 305.899.4081

Monday, January 11, 2010

Al's Obituary and Life Celebration Service

Al's obituary ran in today's Miami Herald.


Al Kaplan | Quirky North Miami gadfly, professional photographer

It was easy to mistake Al Kaplan for a species of city hall habitue familiar to most South Florida municipalities: the schmoozy, slightly off-kilter gadfly who never misses a council meeting.

It probably had something to do with his mop of hair -- and his stuffed monkey.

But North Miami insiders knew better. Kaplan, a professional photographer, researched issues as carefully as did elected officials. He understood their implications and posed cogent questions.

``He would love to give the impression that he was nuts, but he wasn't,'' said Scott Galvin, a longtime City Council member. ``He was very studied in local politics. He was very involved.''

Kaplan and his toy sidekick, Monkette, will henceforth be notable by their absence; a smoker, Kaplan died Dec. 29 from complications of a recent heart attack, said daughter Elena Kaplan, of Atlanta.

Born Alan Kaplan on Nov. 9, 1942, he was 67. He was buried in a New Bedford, Mass., cemetery alongside generations of ancestors.

A North Miami resident since his teens -- with a brief Boston detour -- Kaplan ran unsuccessfully for the City Council in 1989 and served on civic boards.

Indisputably eccentric, the tall, rangy Kaplan loved the water and once aspired to be a fishing guide. But after getting his first camera as a bar mitzvah present, he headed toward a photography career, said son Jonathan Kaplan.

Kaplan is best known for pictures of '60s rock stars, politicians, North Miami events -- and himself. A prolific self-portraitist, Kaplan hosted a blog called, and was respected on photo-industry websites.

In 2008, he had his proverbial ``15 minutes of fame,'' as he explained on his blog.

``Amazing. [Photographer] James Mitchell gets the idea of sticking my ugly face on a T-shirt, complete with a cigarette dangling from my lips, posts the thing on an Internet Leica Photography forum, and suddenly orders are coming from as far away as Australia!''

``Al was a polarizing guy in some ways,'' Josh Root wrote on after Kaplan's death. ``I enjoyed many of his images/thoughts and also butted heads with him in a couple different instances . . . But it is hard to argue that he wasn't a very interesting fellow . . . and a skilled photographer.''

Al Kaplan described himself thusly on his blog:

``Al's art background includes a few years at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA. He majored in anthropology at Miami Dade College and later taught photography there. He spent several years working for various publications in the Miami area [and] used his contacts . . . to pick up a variety of long-term clients, including Barry University, the city of North Miami, the Jamaican Tourist Development Board and Congressman William Lehman.''

His interests, he wrote, ``range from light tackle fishing to politics. He's skilled in black & white traditional darkroom techniques and equally at home with a 4x5 commercial view camera as he is with his favorite 35mm Leicas.''

Elena, a lawyer, said her father was never without a camera.

``It was normal that he was always taking pictures of us,'' she said of herself and Jonathan, a Harvard University doctoral student.

Thrice married, Kaplan was last divorced from antiques restorer Claudia Bailey, who remained close. His first wife, Stephanie Brundage, is the mother of his children.

Elena said her parents ``were married in '64 by a [Boston] justice of the peace seven days after they met. Dad didn't want to get drafted'' for the Vietnam War. ``They fell in love after.''

They returned to North Miami and divorced in 1979.

Galvin met Kaplan in 1989, when both ran for council seats. Galvin won; Kaplan lost.

``Al was a very 1960s hippie Democrat,'' he said. ``He certainly was not the establishment candidate.''

Kaplan served on the city planning commission.

Kaplan made his living shooting freelance news photos, record-album covers, weddings, Little League team portraits, March of Dimes promos -- whatever came along.

Lately, Kaplan was engaged in a self-portrait project -- with Monkette.

``The monkey started as a joke,'' Jonathan said. A childhood toy monkey ``got shipped around'' and photographed in various settings, then ``acquired a girlfriend: Monkette.''

Monkette disappeared for a while, Galvin said, then reappeared about three years ago. Kaplan brought her ``to an FPL protest, to city hall, to Starbucks, as a conversation starter with young ladies. He'd put her into the frame of photos.''

He often spoke through Monkette on his blog, where she endorsed council candidates and commented on the issues.

People who knew Kaplan ``got a chuckle,'' Galvin said. ``He had that great mop of hair and a beard, and he looked woolly and scary. He wasn't one to wear a tie, or if he wanted to make people wonder why he was wearing a tie, he'd wear one. He was having fun.''

Kaplan was ``a bit of an instigator,'' his son said, ``but he viewed civility as a fundamental component of democracy, and when that was threatened, he was upset.''

Friends and family will celebrate Kaplan's life at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Griffing Adult Center, 12220 Griffing Blvd./NE Third Ave., North Miami.