Part of the job description of being an editorial photographer is being able to pull all kinds of productions together in a relatively short amount of time, without of course compromising any sort of quality. It’s a fun and exciting aspect of the game, as well as a nerve-jangling one (but i suspect that’s what keeps us in it, right?). And although this was’nt a huge production challenge in terms of what could have been needed on any given day (which basically consists of literally anything!) it’s always somewhat of a tricky challenge to create an entire photo- studio in someone else’s workspace, one that’s high quality enough to grace the cover of a major newsstand magazine, all within a limited time-frame.I mean, it’s not exactly like working in a studio where you’re lighting, spacing and set-up have some consistency and familiarity. No, in this instance we basically have two hours to park, haul a studio up to the ninth floor, construct, concept, test, adjust, back-up concept, test, think, re-think, decide if you actually like the light or even the idea, sometimes start from scratch, hopefully have a cup of tea, enough to re-build your energy, ‘cos guess what, in 10 minutes your subjects gonna arrive and you’ve got to shoot a kick-ass cover. And oh yeah, he’s not someone who makes a living in front of camera, so I’ve really gotta bring it, to get him be there! So, it’s challenging, but also fun in a sort of self-mutilating/ testing ones- self kind of way! Ha. Oh yeah, and we also need a double page spread shot too! Yep, that’s got to be creatively worked, concepted, lit etc. So there’s a lot of work that goes into these location cover shoots in a very small amount of time and I couldn’t even come close to doing it without a great team, who act as a spare set of eyes as well as literally muscle. The trust allows it to become a great little creative menagerie, a melting pot where i’m nothing more than the head chef, as well as kind of circus ringleader! Thanks to a great team guys….Thomas Hencz, Leah Christensen and David Fearns.
It’s not everyday you get the run of the entire 20th Century Fox studio backlot, $250,000 worth of Ferrari, oh and yes, the venerable Mr. Jim Gianopulos, CEO of said studio, to play with. But thanks to The Official Ferrari Magazine, that’s exactly what happened back in June.Jim was actually awesome to work with. I’ve shot plenty of business types, and some you just can’t loosen up, but he seemed to totally enjoy the process and had fun with it. Partly due to the location, the car, and his Godfather-esque looks, i was feeling a kind of ‘Little Italy tough guy from the streets done good’ kind of vibe, and Jim was right there with me. Hey, forgetaboutit! It’s almost like he hangs around with famous actors all day!Great working with you Jim, hope we get to do it again some day. Thanks also to the excellent production team at Ferrari, and Amy Trezise and the location team at Fox.
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with LPGA Tour Pro Lizette Salas for Golf Digest. The editors there are so great to work with, always encouraging to go beyond the obvious ‘golfy’ shot, gives you so much more freedom and confidence to play around and have fun. And one thing i learned, if you’re ever short of a wind machine, a leaf-blower works pretty darn well as a stand-in! Especially when subject’s Dad is groundskeeper of said club.A fun day was had by all, and i think it shows in the pictures! Thanks Lizette and best of luck, we’ll be rooting for ya.
Much of the life of a professional photographer revolves around creating self- funded personal work, re-enforcing the old adage “show what you want to get hired for” and these projects often become our self- promotion pieces. I also try to tie into what’s current, so i decided to create a piece for the World Cup Brazil 2014.
As my studio is near the beach, i thought it was a perfect opportunity to create images that have a little Copacabana Beach football- style as well as the classic Brazil World Cup aesthetic, thoroughly encompassing the flamboyant visual beauty that is Brazilian football.
The World Cup starts June 12th and will feature thirty-two of the world’s top national teams. Even larger in both viewership and revenue generation than the Summer Olympics, the biggest sporting event in the world will take place in twelve separate cities around the country, ranging from the beachfront metropolis Rio De Janeiro to the Amazon rainforest capital of Manaus.
Big thanks goes out to Devin Trafford and Tadeo Cuerpaso (facebook.com/CUERPASO) for help on this shoot.
Get your samba on!
Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program is Silicon Valley’s incubator for the next big thing. A business program where playtime is problem- solving. The brainchild of innovation gurus Tina Seelig, Ph.D and Tom Byers, Ph.D, the program is dedicated to accelerating high-tech entrepreneurship. It’s a high value prize for all at Stanford, and enrollment is limited to a dozen outstanding students each year. Plus you get to wear paper cones on your head all day and call it work!
We spent a couple of days with the professors and students of the STVP, poking around the creative hub on campus that is the d.school and generally soaking up the chilled out yet intense vibe that is Stanford for The Times magazine, and let me tell you, these kids know they’re at the center of the business world.
Here’s a fun shoot with renaissance- woman Sasha Grey. This girl’s a good laugh and so easy to work with, hope we get to do it all again sometime soon.
A girl who’s resume includes actress, model, author, musician, and former pornographic actress, and all by the age of 24! That’s not messing around! She played the lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience ( and was excellent in my opinion) and is currently in the middle of promoting ‘The Juliette Society’, a fictional erotic novel, released earlier this year. A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as having “an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about it.” In the words of Andy Samberg doing a Nicholas Cage impression…. “That’s high praise!” She’s an interesting girl, and quite clearly more than just a pretty face. Oh, and her instagram feed…. Sasha gone done got herself a good eye!
and of course, suitably inspired, she insisted on getting in on the photo- taking business herself….. my, what a fine looking couple of photogs right there! 😉
Here’s a fun little behind the scenes video of a personal project i shot a little while ago. With much thanks to Devin Trafford for the iPhone camera-work, and Joe Ashby for almost but not quite pulling a hamstring!
When Dr. Eric Topol, one of the world’s foremost cardiologists, heard an alarmed flight attendant ask “Is there a doctor on board?” he instantly knew he could display the potential for wireless medicine. So he snapped an AliveCor device onto his iPhone and performed a cardiogram at 30,000 feet. “These days, I’m prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications.” he declares. For Dr. Topol, it’s no question that the future of medicine lies within your smartphone, and most notably the AlivCor technology.
We photographed Dr. Topol at Scrips Institute in San Diego for Der Speigel last year, and David E. Albert (below), the inventor of AlivCor, for the USC Body Computing Conference. As soon as i saw the little ECG displayed in real time on an iPhone, it was clear it was going to be a game- changer, and i’m not a Doctor, i just play one in my dreams.
Dr. Topol talks more about this revolution, which he clearly embraces, in his controversial new book ‘The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care’ and in a fascinating interview on NBC’s Rock Center. These two gents are true mavericks in my opinion, challenging the status quo in an industry so reluctant to change, and as so, hopefully help usher in a new era of affordable healthcare for all.
There’s a James Terrell retrospective at LACMA starting this weekend. His stuff is rad. If you ever get a chance to see his installation work, and literally stand inside it, it’s a cool experience. This work is within one of the coolest private residences in LA, The Sheats/Goldstein House
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If you’re a lucky photo editor or art buyer, coming soon to a desk near you…. our latest promo-zine ‘Fighters’. We hope you enjoy.
“If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?”
“Honestly? I would have told myself to get a government job with a nice retirement package so I could retire after 20-25 years and then do my photography while collecting my pension all the while. I don’t want to sound like sour grapes or anything but I’m approaching 39 and while I’m thrilled to have published books, have had exhibitions and the opportunity to travel to amazing places and meet wonderful people thanks to my career, I have no retirement plan whatsover. I didn’t know then that the industry would change so much and make it more difficult to survive. Frankly I’ve given myself a time limit: if by the time I turn 40 I’m not in the place I was hoping to be I will try a different vocation. I love animals and it’s not too late to go back to school to become a vet tech. This is realistic and pragmatic me speaking of course.”
Naomi Harris via THIS IS THE WHAT
It seems appropriate in some way that his birthday lands on President’s Day, he kinda feels right for that role somehow. We shot him a few years ago now, and a big shout out to my assistant that day Bo B. Randulff for creating the ‘entertained’ off- camera glance. Nice work my man.