Monday, October 23, 2006

Stevie Nicks, the icing on Tom Petty's cake

Shocker! Friday night was Tom Petty's birthday and how lucky were we that it's the very night he performed here at Raley Field on what was a glorious evening under the stars. And to help him celebrate was none other than the super amazing rock goddess Stevie Nicks! Larger than life, just as you would imagine, she comes out on stage to do a few tunes with the birthday boy. No wonder they let us shoot the entire show from the pit, an extraordinary rarity and I loved every minute of it! The evening was complete with birthday cake and Petty blowing out the candles, then licking his fingers. One of the radio stations was handing out cone-shaped birthday hats and another was recording video birthday greetings for Tom. I tried to shy away from doing one-- had a bad case of laryngitis, truly nothing more than a whisper-- but the accomodating woman there quickly taught me "Happy Birthday" in sign language for the video greeting, so I did it in sign! Truth is it's far more fun to participate, go with the flow and simply join right in.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ryan Gillmor

It's always a challenge to figure out what to do with someone photographically. Even though I've been doing this photography thing for years a day doesn't go by that I don't try to come up with something new and different despite the fact I may have done it a hundred times before. Actually that's the beauty of portraiture. Each new person is such a new galaxy unto themselves it will be different from the start almost no matter what you do. Each subject brings wonderful intangibles to the mix. A glint, a gesture and then some unexpected juxtaposition happens and sparks it all up. You just never know what to expect.
Ryan Gillmor is a singer songwriter with loads of looks, personality, ambition, and just the right kind of vigor and real talent that means he has a better chance than most to do something meaningful in the music business.
We did this photo shoot yesterday and although I sketched out a few things to do in the studio I wanted to do something different by adding a location to the mix. There is this great stairway outside a church in the Midtown area I've been eyeing for years and it seemed just the ticket for this so we trooped over and got to work. While in the middle of it some guy yells from across the street "Hey! This is like the fifth photo shoot I've seen over there today!" Great, so much for originality! ;)
From personal experience I know that two photographers standing directly next to each other may view the same thing but will see it differently, shoot it differently. It's all been done before anyway and those wonderful intangibles will always rule in the end.

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