Friday, December 28, 2007

Photographer, 90210

Here's how Aaron Spelling would have described this scene:
Blonde, fashionably-clad starlet in her mid-20s jiggles past a nightclub as the paparazzi clamors for any image they can get. Just inside, local celebrities sip martinis as the sun sets on another perfect day in Beverly Hills.
But, with all respect to the late Mr. Spelling, here is how I would have described it:
Hired talent in her early 30s paces back and forth in the cold December dusk. A sleep-deprived photographer kneeling inches from Wilshire Boulevard breathes bus fumes while trying to ignore the cramp in his right foot.
We just got back from shooting SportsClub/LA's three Southern California locations. Client Kasey O'Leary-Massey did an amazing job of planning and executing our most productive 4-day lifestyle shoot to date. The most important part was always knowing where to find the local Starbucks.

Celebrities? We saw plenty. But unlike the rest of our media, Red Square Photography refuses to drop names.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Aunt Linda

My family recently said goodbye to one of its most well-loved members, my Aunt Linda, who passed away due to complications from cancer at the age of 60. Without dwelling on this most upsetting fact of life, I wanted to share an important image that would not exist if it were not for my aunt.

The shot above is an iconic view—so much that I will not even mention the name of this city and still, 99% of you will know it. (The remaining 1% are probably living underground, without internet access and therefore not reading this anyway.)

In February 1998, my then fiancée and I went to visit my aunt who had a great connection for a private tour of Rockefeller Center. Just above the famous Rainbow Room, there is a door and staircase which leads to a rooftop with a view south to the Empire State Building and World Trade Center in the distance. It was cold, windy and rainy so I was not eager to step out there. But, with my Nikon F3, 20mm Nikkor and high-grain film, my aunt and I ventured outside to see the view which our guide described as "spectacular."

After about 60 seconds shooting, I didn't think too much about it. But when the film was finally developed, this one stood out as a dramatically beautiful image. Even my aunt commented, "That's really a great shot." So I made a small print for her apartment. Over the past decade, numerous companies have bought stock licenses for that image and it remains one of my career favorites to-date.

Well...we've said goodbye to a few of the buildings in that shot and now we've said goodbye to the woman who made the shot possible. I usually roll my eyes when someone says "photography captures a moment" or some other cliché but in some strange way, it's true. We just never know when that moment will be taken from us.

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