I’ve been taking photographs for a living for about 20 years, and I’ve been scuba diving for about 35 years. On this shoot, the two worlds finally intersected, in the most fabulous way…..
This past spring, I got a call from Allyson over at Popular Mechanics…”would you like to photograph Andy Casagrande, one of the best wildlife cinematographers in the world? Oh yea, his specialty is sharks and shark week for Discovery.” Continue reading
Jeanette Jenkins for Fitness magazine..Always always one of my favorite things to shoot athletes…
I’ve had some fun shoots the past couple of years with Christian Iooss at Golf DIgest. Its one of those clients where I always say yes to an assignment, because I know it will be a good one, and I know how much they value great photographs and Ideas..Here’s a shoot I did this summer out at Liberty National Club in NJ…I shot Ian Poulter, currently ranked #17 in the world and one of the funnest guys in golf..I’ve shot Ian before for Golf Digest, a couple of years ago we built a big bullseye and put Ian on it, as if a knifer thrower were about to start throwing knives at him..Ian gets conceptual ideas and generally will do most anything you want him to. For this assignment, there was no specific direction, Christian just said go and find some great pictures..It was great that Ian had remembered our bullseye shoot, as I had heard he really liked it and was very surprised how cool it came out. He was totally trusting in me at this point..On this day, he was playing a round with some regular guys for a commitment to one of his sponsors, so I wasnt really allowed to slow up play or anything, just figure it out on the fly and get a shot here and there when I could..I’m really good at that though, and knew the right opportunity would present itself. When he got in the bunker, it just kinda happened..He had fun with it and made that connection that I was looking for…heres the tear sheet as it ran in the mag, as well as a couple of out takes that I loved..I also put the highlights from the last couple of years of my work for Golf Digest..the bullseye shoot included!
FItness magazine shoot with the lovely Sarah, doing her moves in Brooklyn Bridge park on a nice summer day…We shot this story in late spring, so the weather we knew was going to keep us guessing and nervous…Katrina (from Fitness mag) and I changed the dates on this shoot 3 times because the weather wasnt cooperating..it was really a nerve wracking experience trying to figure out when we would have blue sky…it was worth the hand wringing though, as you can see from these pics…perfect perfect weather all day, and puffy white clouds even made an appearance…katrina and I were high five-ing all day knowing our neurosis paid off…
Here’s Last weeks cover of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine…I shot Director Lee Daniels, Cuba Gooding Jr, and writer Wil Haygood for the cover of the July 28th issue…the story was about the new film being released this week, The Butler, which is a true story about Eugene Allen, an African American butler in the white house for 34 years..Eugene was there in the white house during the administrations of Dwight Eisenhower, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Dick Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronny Reagan..The film deals with him being a black man, in the white house, during the civil rights movement, and what he saw, felt, etc..I havent seen it yet, but did see some of it in the editing booth when I shot the cover..Forrest Whitaker (who I love) plays the lead role of Eugene, while Cuba is another butler in the white house..The shoot was great..Lee and Cuba were great, Wil is the writer whos story in the Washington Post was the basis of the screenplay..Wil was awesome too, I hope I get to hang with him again some time..and in OTHER news yesterday, Jeff Bezos BOUGHT the Washington Post yesterday…big big news, and can only be a good thing at this point in the journalism meltdown of the last 5 years…
Here’s two recent shoots that are out now…One is of the iconic and talented Jane Pauley, the other is of red hot golfer Billy Horschel..Jane has a new series called “Life Reimagined” that will be broadcast on the Today Show and also on the AARP website..The shoot was for great publicity shots of her looking fab and confident and just JANE….The shoot went really well…Loved Jane, she was such a pleasant surprise and so gracious..Look for her spots on the Today Show soon!! The best part was when my 5 year old Henry stopped by the studio after school to watch poppy work…he already knows his way around a camera and profoto pack…The other shoot in the post was red hot golfer Billy Horschel for Golf Digest…He’s very fit and works out alot, so we wanted to convey that..He does train with a parachute, so we decided that was the best thing to do…I had shot these parachutes on pro football players and I knew first hand how hard they are to inflate and look good..But Billy kicked ass and ran super fast to keep it inflated…pics looked great but we only had about 15 tries before he was worn out..thank god we got it..we also tried a shot of him just hitting his wedge out of the sand. It looked great but not as good as the parachute shot…although I did love the little kids that walked up to see what was going on..their father knew who Billy was so we had this idea to get the kids to stand and get autographs from Billy…Cute shot, I loved it…and the other shot is of Hall of Fame photo assistant Johnny Perez…my trusty sidekick…
Augusta, and April can only mean one thing: THE MASTERS! I got a call from Christian Iooss last winter, on a cold day, and he uttered the sentence, “Do you want to come to the masters this year and do your thing? Your assignment would be just to hang out, take pics and show the super freaky side of the masters and Augusta, both inside and outside the gates, which exists but nobody really knows about it. Do you want to do it?” Uh, yea. And with that, I knew I was going on one of those photo adventures that would be floating around my brain for the next 50 years.. Continue reading
When I turned 16, I think about three days went by before I went down to the DMV and got my license…that was back in the early 80′s, when your driver’s license was absolutely essential to have any sort of freedom, or social life…nowadays, not so much…the auto industry has been doing research, and kids today just aren’t in any sort of hurry to get their drivers licences, and the auto industry is freaking out a bit….now, kids are texting, gaming, and facebooking.. getting their driver’s license and cars have slipped down the list a bit..That brings us to this story..Crackerjack Automotive writer Brett Berk found a 20-year-old young man who is one of those people who hasn’t gotten his license, and this story was a conceptual piece about why, and could Brett swing him over to the “car side” by throwing the automotive dream at him: A Rolls Royce Ghost, Ford F-150 Raptor, Lamborghini Gallardo, and a Porsche 911 Carrera S, Continue reading
I’ve said many times “I just can’t seem to get the sand of florida out of my shoes.” And it’s true. The older I get, the more that state I grew up in seems to slowly whisper me back….Attached here is a story I shot down in Florida for Garden and Gun Magazine. It was a profile about one of florida’s great literary treasures, Carl Hiaasen (Google him and you will see what I mean)…It was to spend 2 days on a flats boat fishing with Carl and Guide Robb Simmens, just hanging out and site fishing snook and redfish, the perfect assignment for me… Continue reading
Pizza man Papa John for Fortune Magazine out now…The story was to go down to his home base of Louisville, and spend the day with him photographing him at home, at his office, at a Papa Joyhn’s restaurant, etc…The catch was that his PR pitbull, Mike Sitrick, would be there the whole time, and would in fact be part of the story (that’s him standing behind John)..And the story was basically about how Papa John chimed in during the whole “healthcare for everyone” debate and was misquoted and subsequently grilled by the press. And he hired Mike to help him navigate out of those shark infested waters…Shoot went pretty well overall..unlike John, I will keep my opinions to myself about the whole thing…that would be better for all…..NW
What a great time this past winter on this assignment for Outdoor Life magazine..I was sent to Montana to shoot the annual Gun and Optics test issue for them. I got the call from John Toolan, “hey nathaniel do you want to go to Montana for a week and shoot guns and cameras for our big test issue?” I love Montana…almost as much as I love it’s neighbor, Wyoming…But the real treat to this assignment was that it would take place and we would be staying at the Boone and Crockett Club Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch in Dupuyer, MY…Theodore Roosevelt is far and away my favorite president of all time…just read his wiki page here…I cant stress enough how much I admire him and everything he accomplished in life and the hardships he overcame..from being a very sickly child, to his wife dying in childbirth (his mother died the SAME day), then going on to what i consider his legacy achievement, starting the National Parks System that I spend so much time in today…building the panama canal, starting the Rough Riders, surviving an assassination attempt (he finished his speech with a bullet in his chest), founding the Natural History Museum, it goes on and on…it was great to be in a lodge in Montana and looking at the same mountains that he was did.
n December, I shot this ad campaign for the 100 Club of Chicago, which is a non profit org whose mission is to provide for the families of Police and Firefighters that lose their lives in the line of duty. When an officer dies, they come in, write a big check right off the bat, and help take care of the family and the kids of the fallen officer. The concept of the campaign was to photograph actors from Chicago, who play cops on TV. The copy was very simple tag lines like “Real first responders have more to worry about than low ratings”, and “real first responders dont get body doubles”. Continue reading
Once again, I had the extreme pleasure to shoot for one of ESPN mags One Day One Game issues..This time it was in michigan for a B-ball game, Michigan vs Ohio State..Such an awesome experience and gig..this is the 4th one I’ve been on..all 4 that ESPN has done…Heres the tear sheets, as well as a few iphone pics i posted to my instagram during the trip..
Out now is my shoot with Risa Heller for Glamour Magazine…Risa is a crisis PR girl, working for people and businesses that are having a bad day…This girl specializes in politicians and has seen it all, helping David Patterson, Anthony Weiner, and Elliot Spitzer through their “troubled times”…would love to read her memoir some day for sure..We shot at a location that she is very identifiable with: a newsstand. Continue reading
Such a cool technology story I was fortunate to shoot for Popular Mechanics…these guys devised a way to remove oil from oil spills the most efficient way possible…using plastic discs, with grooves, they spin through the oil soaked water and the oil sticks to the grooves while the water just falls off… Continue reading
This out now in Mens Health magazine football preview story…I went down to nashville to shoot Kamerion Wimbley and his beloved pitbull Yogi…the story was about training with your dog, as kamerion works out with Yogi regularly..on this scorching hot july day though it was all we could do to get yogi to stand up let alone run with Kamerion…but we tried and tried, let him rest and drink, and then tried some more… Continue reading
Winter shoot in Miami for ESPN magazine….my favorite sentence….I shot the day in the life of a football game for ESPN back in the fall at a Houston Texans game (see blog 3 posts down), and I was asked to do the same thing, but this time it was a Heat game in miami..again the concept was to do a whole issue of the magazine all about a Miami Heat game, with about 30 photogs, writers, and editors scrambling to cover every aspect of a pro basketball game and all that it is and entails, my assignment was to set up a white backdrop and photograph people; unlike at the football game where I was photographing all of the people that “work” at a football game, from the hotdog seller to the quarterback, at the Heat game they wanted see the “fashion” that the fans wear to pro basketball game… Continue reading
Out now in the new issue of PDN magazine, my shoot with James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is featured. Basically, it’s a Q and A with me about the shoot, what went into it, the politics, technical issues, etc that happens on a shoot like this. It was cool to relive the shoot during my Q and A with the writer of the piece, Holly Stuart Hughes. It highlighted for me just how tenuous and uncertain alot of photo shoots are..There are no guarantees on a shoot like this, only your resolve and sometimes subtle force to see it through and make it happen. Especially on a shoot like this that was politically sensitive, with a notoriously prickly pro athlete, and to top it off, involving guns..But the stars did align and I did put on my best hat and I did indeed get the shot…click on the title of this post and you can read the story on the PDN site….it’s an interesting insight into a shoot like this….nw
Here’s some assorted tear sheets from jobs I did in late November/December….lots of good shoots to round out the year…the fisherman shot was for Money magazine, to illustrate a story about new strategies to increase your investments…the idea was that while in the past we would put lots of money into one big portfolio (hence the marlin on the wall), nowadays you must be more nimble and spread the money around for good returns (hence the group of small fish). It was a blast shooting and conceiving this. We had a set built, and styled to look like a stereotypical fisherman. I got to work with creative director Neil Jamieson again, which I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad shoot for… Continue reading
This story for ESPN was definitely one of the highlights for 2011 for me. The assignment was simple: go to an NFL football game, set up a backdrop, and photograph as many people who were there working that day as possible. ESPN was devoting a whole issue to one football game, The Houston Texans vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. The were sending about 50 photographers and writers to cover the game from all angles possible. Nancy Weismann gave me what i think was the best assignment that day. Continue reading
Plax. That one name conjured up so much sadness and pity when I got the assignment to shoot him for Mens Journal magazine. Plaxico Burress was one of the highest paid, best receivers in the NFL when he carried a loaded gun into a Manhattan nightclub, where it accidentally fired while in hist waistband, striking himself in the leg. NYC has the toughest gun laws in the country, with a mandatory 3 year prison sentence for having a gun in the city. Even you or I, if found with a gun, even if legal outside Manhattan, would face a 3 year prison sentence if found with it. I remember when i got the assignment, i remembered very well all the press when he was arrested back in 2008, thinking “what a bummer, from catching the winning touchdown pass in the Superbowl, top of your game making millions, and a simple stupid mistake takes it all away.” Continue reading
The October issue of Forbes with Ronald Perelman and his father on the cover….it’s was for the Forbes 400 rich list.shot on location at Ron’s office on the upper east side. So cool to shoot a father and son that obviously love each other. I was a bit nervous, as was everyone on set, before they arrived…but when they walked in, Ron and his pops really put everyone at ease because they are so close. It was like shooting a father son comedic act..they were going at it the whole shoot. A real highlight shoot this fall…Its always a bit surreal to photograph people who are worth BILLIONS… Continue reading
What can I say, the surreal life of this photographer continues to get weirder…but when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro as someone once told me…Herman Cain, shot in Detroit about a month ago, during the height of his popularity when he was #1 in the polls. I love shooting politicians, because they are definitely the wackiest show on earth. I’ve shot so many of them, from Al Gore, Orin Hatch, John Kerry, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, so many of them. Continue reading
I was very lucky this fall to be a part of the Bloomberg Markets 50 most influential issue…it’s always great to be a part of a best of package in a magazine…everyone from art directors, editors, writers, photographers, try to raise their game past the top for special issues like this..when i got the call from Amy, I jumped right on board and was very excited to hear who I would be photographing. I’ve shot a ton of business peeps at this point, sometimes its a great experience, sometimes it’s not. When it’s not, it’s usually not because the subject is difficult or mean, it’s really because it can be so hard to take an interesting, original picture at an office complex..I can tell you how many times I’ve sighed when the PR person leads me to a conference room and says “this is where you will be photographing Mr. _________ today.” Continue reading
What can I say…surrounded by beautiful girls all day in a park in New Jersey…hanging out with favorite Photo Editor Andrea Verdone….great pics, great people, great food, great everything…it was a long day but so much fun…
This image was out last month in the July issue of money magazine. The concept was conceptual, we needed to shoot a half boy scout, half business man image for a story about finding financial advice you can trust. I loved the concept, but was very aware that if done wrong it would look hokey and silly. We spent lots of time doing tests of the model in different wardrobe setups and different lighting setups and backgrounds, trying to find that image that was great and not ironic or silly. Continue reading
Out now is the current Golf Digest with my picture of pro golfer Dustin Johnson standing on a poly ball swinging his club…this shoot happened back in march 2011 in Florida. The photo director there, Christian Iooss, told me we had to get TWO cover shoots done in 30 minutes, one for Golf Digest, and one for their sister publication, Golf World. I was super stoked to get the gig, as covers are always a good thing, but was definitely a little nervous to pull off two different covers in 30 minutes. I knew there wouldn’t be enough time for two different locations or setups, so decided to focus on getting two different crops on Dustin, one tighter, and one full length.. Continue reading
Old friend and collaborator Jesse James for people magazine. I’ve put the people story here as well as a bunch of other stuff from our long journey together these last 10 years. Jesse and I have a pretty great history of creative collaboration..I first met him on a story for GQ in 2000, he was just starting to blow up as his bikes were getting a lot of attention and the Discovery channel show “motorcycle mania” which was about him and was the highest rated discovery show ever, and I think it still is. That show had everyone, including GQ, trying to find out who this guy was.. Continue reading
What can I say…the gorgeous Dylan Lauren for the cover of Forbes magazine. I shot this at Dylan’s Candy Bar, her legendary candy store on the upper east side. Really one of the more brilliant ideas that in retrospect makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?” So obvious that a story like this will do great, and hers is doing great and growing to more and more locations and a truly global brand…sounds familiar for her family right? Her papa is Ralph Lauren, and I know I don’t need to tell you who he is. The cover story was about success, and is it learned, or inherited in your genes? Continue reading
This one is tough, and even hard to write about to be honest…it was for glamour magazine, a real people story in Denver about a woman named Kristen Stillman and her brother Will. Basically, they are twins who were born to a junkie loser mom, who ended up giving them when they were 8 to an acquaintance guy and his family who was another loser, mean, nasty person. She was raped her whole life, he was beat. She bore children by the man, etc. They finally ran away when she realized her kids were in for the same life as her.. It really is the kind of story that makes me deep down question being human and not just giving up on everything altogether. I just lose all hope when I hear about stuff like this. Continue reading
Here’s a recent tear sheet from Golf Digest of Roger Maltbie, on course tournament commentator extraordinaire…This dude used to be a pro, and was now on the other side of the game now as an analyst and commentator. I knew he was going to be awesome and he was, in spite of our 7am call time for the shoot in Louisville…I knew it would be a good shoot when I showed up at 7 and he was outside smoking a cig and offered me one… He’s one of those guys that everybody likes, players and fans alike. Continue reading
Its been forever since i’ve last posted…i’ve got lots of stuff to post, just hard to get the mojo to do it with a 3 year old in the house…blogging isnt easy for me, as i like to write a bit about the shoot and not just throw up a photo or two…but this recent shoot out now got me off my butt and i have an hour before i have to pick henry up from camp..this shoot of James Harrison i did for mens journal magazine and michelle wolfe, the photo director over there. The other shoot mentioned here i did for them last fall, of NY ranger hockey player Derek Boogaard. I never blogged about that shoot either so will do it here as well. First up is the Derek Boogaard shoot last fall in NYC….I’ll start by letting you know Derek passed away unexpectedly this spring, about 4 months after our shoot, which was a big shock to everyone as he was only 30. I didnt even know he died, but got a suspicious email from my agent at corbis, ben hampel, asking me to send a bigger selection from my shoot with him..of course i instantly knew something was up… Continue reading
I heard some super good news the other day via my inbox…I got an email from maggie kennedy, the photo director over at Garden and Gun magazine, that a story we did won an SPD merit award!! So very very happy and excited about this, as SPD is the grand pubah (is that correct?) of awards for photography and design…and for those of you scratching your heads, yes there is a magazing called Garden and Gun, and its an awesome magazine about all things southern…. cause if youre from the south, you probably have a garden and a gun, but the magazine goes much deeper than that… This story was about the endangered kemp’s ridley sea turtle in the gulf after the oil spill, and the people that were trying to save them…I spent a good bit of time down there on 3 separate trips over the summer on different stories (scroll down to see my oil spill posts), with this story being the last and most uplifting… My first trip down there was still a big question mark…would the oil come ashore and cover the shore and the bayous of LA?? My second trip confirmed that yes, the oil is coming ashore, but not as bad as everyone at first thought. And this last trip was pretty much “the whole gulf coast pretty much dodged a bullet, but who knows what is happening off shore.” And i think thats pretty much the thought even today. things are pretty much back to “normal”, fishing and shrimping are open again, but nobody really knows what the long term prognosis is for the gulf. But an oil spill like this seemed to happen in the best possible place (if there is such a thing), as the gulf of mexico is like a giant toilet bowl. warm water+naturally occurring oil eating microbes+favorable currents and winds went to work on all of that oil…i still dont think its ok, and still cannot believe that a leak like this could go on as long as it did without a quick way to shut it down. just nuts…. there HAS to be better protocol in place, or just dont drill that deep, very simple. Of course oil today over $100 a barrel and talks of $200 a barrel this summer makes us all want to solve our energy problems domestically. my personal worry from the spill is what will happen to the bluefin tuna. Atlantic bluefin tuna spawn in the gulf every spring, and the hatch coincided with the oil spill..not good if youre a little bluefin fry… so it will be years before anyone knows how bad the tuna were hit. as you know i’ve caught lots of different kinds of fish over the years as its my passion…but bluefin tuna are on my bucket list and i’ve yet to catch one. they are a hearty bunch, so I’m hoping they come back strong as well….
Here’s some work that just came out in golf digest this month on risk takers in golf…I got a call from Christian Iooss in december asking what If i’d like to shoot a big feature about people in golf that are known for taking risks both on the course and off. When he called, the story was really just getting going and there were no concepts yet for the photos, so we did some brainstorming trying to come up with illustrative metaphors that would be cool and also show “risk” (without looking ironic or hokey, as that is ALWAYS the risk for us on shoots like this)..the subjects were Ian Poulter, Ben Crane, and Donald Tump.. Continue reading
This is my first cover of 2011!! New forbes cover i shot in December of scientist, Dr., and inventor Jonathan Rothberg…. Continue reading
My summer was excellent to say the least. And one of the real highlights of it was this job for mens health, photographing 4 top athletes for a story titled “are you fit?” As brenda and brandon put it during our meeting for the story, we wanted to look at 4 top athletes in top physical shape, and how that related to the sport that they excelled in… Continue reading
wow. this summer and autumn have been so so busy, I’ve had some great shoots and adventures the last 2 months…. Continue reading
Awesome awesome awesome….thats how i feel when i see my phone ring and the first three numbers are 515….because that means that ESPN magazine is calling me for an assisngment!! .. Continue reading
I’ve always said that being a photographer really isnt about taking pictures at all for me….taking the pictures is just the vehicle that gets me in close intimate contact with people and experiences all over the world, which i crave. And the more i do meet people of all colors, ethnicities, religions, etc. on my shoots, and spend this intimate time with them, the more i realize we are all exactly the same…… Continue reading
This just out in People magazine last week, my shoot with Buddy Valastro, also known as The Cake Boss. The concept for the shoot was to have Buddy and his team make a cake facsimile of him, and see how it looks and photograph it side by side next to the real buddy. Awesome shoot, Buddy and his team of baker magicians did an excellent job as you can see. At the end of the shoot, the photo editor, Brenna Britton, suggested Buddy cut the head off the cake. It sounded a little strange at first, but Buddy really got into it, and yelled “someone get me the Sawzall”, which is a cool power saw thing. Buddy got the saw, and went to work on the head. It was strange watching it, as the cake was life size and even though a cake, still looked real-ish. I think it was so cathartic for Buddy, maybe a bit like being an actor in a movie and your character gets killed off. Must be really cool to kill yourself like he did, better than therapy. And of course, being the big italian baking family that they are, they would not let myself of my assistant go home without some major sweets and goodies, and they were definitely yummy. Heres to you Buddy, I hope that self execution was as much fun as it looked….