Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that she is resigning and will be nominated to become president of the University of California system. We worked with Janet twice on assignment for TIME magazine (with thanks to Martha Bardach) on both occasions in Phoenix where she was serving as Governor of Arizona. Both shoots couldn’t have been more different though. One relating to border security and it’s intense militarization, and the other working with an adorable group of young hispanic schoolchildren for a story on education. I have to say the border security story was much more fun. How often do you get to be in control of a military helicopter and instruct it on how close you need it to skim the head of the future Homeland Security Secretary? Just awesome!
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.
Bret Easton Ellis made his mark as a novelist and screenwriter who spotlights the darker, more twisted side of the City of Angels. With his latest movie ‘The Canyons’ he continues in that vain; the film stars a toxic mix of Lindsay Lohan and male porn star James Deen. Should be interesting!
We recently shot Bret for Der Spiegel, second time in fact for the same client. The first time, he challenged me, somewhat exasperatedly “Please shoot me in some different way in this apartment, we’ve done so may shoots here and shot every possible angle!” So for some reason i had him lay on the back of his couch. Not really sure where the idea came from, and how it was going to turn out, but i thought what the hell, at least it will mix things up! Turned out, Der Spiegel loved it! Haha, just shows, you never know. Portrait photography is all about pushing things for the heck of it. It has to be said, Bret was’nt too crazy about the idea, and got into position just enough for me to grab one frame, then he thought better of it, but by then, the shot was made.
For this, our current shoot, honestly, i don’t think he connected the dots that i’m the same guy who made him do that, but no matter, he’s actually a really chill guy, and pretty much game for anything once he fells your pretty cool too i guess. Anyway, we scouted his place, and i just loved the shafty window light hitting his bedroom. So we just made the shoot happen from there. Kinda works for a writer with a darker view of LA….i really should read one of his books one day, i think i’d like it.
Here’s a fun little shoot for The Times Magazine (UK) with Dr. Brandy Engler, noted sex therapist and author of ‘The Men on My Couch’. And for some details of the trials and tribulations that often go into location shooting like this, read here on my agency Wonderful Machine’s blog post. You can see the original article in The Times here.
We recently took a trip down to Solana Beach, just north of San Diego, California for a shoot with one of the hottest novelists around; Don Winslow. Don’s a private detective turned crime writer, and although originally from the New York area, his ‘thing’ centers on the US/ Mexican drug underworld, and the subcultures of the surf lifestyle. Hence his novel ‘Savages’, which Oliver Stone made into a movie this year. In fact we did a awesome with Oliver Stone just a couple of months ago for same movie’s release. More of that shoot to come in a later post.
Don’s an interesting guy, with a great story, and i highly recommend any of his work for reading materials. Thanks to Nick Hall at The Independent Magazine for such a great use of my images in the print version, but the entire article can be found online here
You may have heard about the movie ‘Won’t Back Down’ starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, about a couple of parents whose children attend a severely failing school, and are determined to change it for the better. It’s based on a true story about a school in LA, and in reality, those parents did not succeed in changing their school, but the parent trigger law was created as a result. The parents above however, did take on and beat their local school district in Adelanto near Victorville, CA, and in the process became the first group to enact the parent trigger law and take charge of their children’s schooling. Good for them.