I’ve had the pleasure of photographing the Donald three times now over the last 5 years or so…People always ask me “how was this person how was that person?”…and like all (smart) photogs of the famous and privileged i’ve got my share of horror stories. But of course I never throw anyone under the bus and politely say “no comment”…So, back to Mr. Trump….I dont mind spilling the details on how i feel about him…When people ask me how he was/is, I tell the truth…I love the guy. Nicest guy in the world..Not only do i not have a bad thing to say about him, but I’ve got lots of good to say. The true barometer for shoots with celebs is not really how they treat you, but how they treat your assistants and the support staff for the shoot, stylists, etc…..they ALWAYS treat us photogs with respect, as we can make them look good or bad…But Donald is always the nicest to everyone..Goes out of his way even treating everyone with the same respect….when i shot him at his golf club in NY he invited us to have lunch with him afterwards at the club. He sat down with us, had a sandwich, chit chatted and hung out..When I shot him at Mar a Lago in palm beach (this shoot posted), he made sure we stayed for dinner and enjoyed ourselves. Came over a couple of times to make sure all was good…Almost feels insincere, but I’m pretty good at sniffing that out, and its not in him..Theres definitely some politician in him though, but it goes deeper than that. He really is a nice guy..so there you have it..
I think the work highlight of the summer for me was this People Magazine job that I shot..It was really perfect for me, Pro Athlete moms and their kids..It was great meeting and photographing these legends in their sports…Soccer player Brandi Chastain, basketball star Candace Parker, Gold medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu, and Gold medal softaball player Jenni Finch..One of the things I do best are what I would call “action” portraits…Basically a portrait of an athlete, not static, but doing their sport while looking to camera..I’ve done it a bunch and love to catch that moment that tells a story and is a portrait as well….When I talked to Ilana at People, I knew this shoot would be great, but also have a certain set of challenges…specifically shooting young kids…Ive shot a bunch of kids in my career, and I have a 7 year old, so i know the drill…Kids are great, but you cant push them. Once they are done, they are done..pushing only makes it worse..the key is to be TOTALLY READY once you get them on set..so we did a lot of pre lighting and testing, and had the moms and kids show up once we were totally dialed in so when they showed up, we started immediately…it worked great..we would work with each subject basically until the kids were kinda over it..that was the 5 minutes left sign…usually about 45 minutes total with each mom and kids..once they start to get antsy its time to wrap…great stuff though, so much fun flying around this summer working on this….Its always fun shooting athletes legends in their comfort zone, which is doing the sport that made them famous…
I had the supreme pleasure this spring of photographing footballer Tim Cahill for the cover package for the Austrlian version Mens Health. Tim is pretty much the best player ever to come out of Australia, and plays MLS now for the NJ Red Bulls here. Everyone at this point knows my fav subjects are athletes…they are that great amalgamation of celebrity and real person..they are famous, but not actors. But the real pleasure about photographing athletes for me is watching them do their sport on set. I always try and do an action shot of every athlete i photograph in a controlled, portrait setting. Its so great to watch the skill that pro athletes have. Everyone on set is always in awe watching it up close on set. Whether a basketball player, golfer, etc., always a treat. And it puts them at ease too, as that is their comfort zone, not posing for a portrait. Tim was not the exception, he loved heading the ball with a suit on with the empire state building backdrop..Tim has had an awesome career, having played the peak of his career at Everton in the UK along side another recent subject of mine, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard. He is the star and leader of the team, and this will probably be his last world cup appearance..I will be rooting for the Socceroos, as they are known, although their first round grouping is almost impossible to advance, having to face Spain, The Netherlands, and Chile..But I will be watching Tim and crossing my fingers….
Got a call from Mike Norseng over at Esquire…”do you want to go to detroit and shoot every car thats made in america by the big three?? Oh yea, it’s gonna be outside.” February. Detroit. Winter. Of course I jumped at the shoot, who wouldnt want to shoot every single car made in Detroit. Chrysler, GM, Ford…we had one shoot day with each of them. Logistically, we pulled off a minor miracle. Even without the freezing weather, it would have been almost impossible to do. But we planned, hired, scouted, etc to make it happen. And we did. And it was awesome. Had so much fun on this one..We ended up shooting 70 different cars over the three days…And yes, I did get to drive them. The mag wanted them all shot the same, on white, full length…A very democratic vision of each car..But the ones that got my blood boiling got a little extra Natty love…A few of those are here in this post..All I’ve got to say after this gig is “GO MADE IN THE USA!”
Washington Post Magazine cover story on Adham Talaat, a deaf college football player about to be drafted into the NFL…He does have some hearing but is still legally deaf…How will that translate as a player in the NFL? Disadvantage?? Good question, no easy or clear answer…It will be interesting to see where he ends up…I remember during the shoot Adham was on his phone constantly…texting, as thats his primary way of communicating…I finally realized the picture I wanted was him sitting in his chair while on set, his thumbs doing his talking…not unlike most 20 year olds actually, but his seemed profound, not disconnected…great story.