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.
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
It seems appropriate in some way that his birthday lands on President’s Day, he kinda feels right for that role somehow. We shot him a few years ago now, and a big shout out to my assistant that day Bo B. Randulff for creating the ‘entertained’ off- camera glance. Nice work my man.
This is a story i shot a while ago, but always wanted to make a directors cut, if you will. For me, the fun part about shooting a story, is maintaining a sense of narrative throughout, so it feels like your going on a journey. To me that is the most powerful piece of story- telling, and reportage work is nothing if not that. There has to be a sense of experience, just like any good documentary film. And Ultimate Fighting is a great subject for that, whether your a fan or not, you have fighters on the fringe of making a name, and wearing their life and scars literally on their sleeves, for everyone to see. As a photographer, you cannot wish for any more than that.
Last month we did a fun shoot with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the golf course, obviously! I have to say she was great to work with and quite malleable. I use that expression in terms of how open a subject is to ideas. Sometimes, with high profile people, you just never know. It can go either way. But i think after having been doing this for twenty years or so, that’s where the experience comes in. Knowing when and how to open your big mouth. This is in itself the art of portrait photography if you ask me. Anyway, the other personally gratifying aspect of this shoot, is that i was in effect backing up a personal photo- hero of mine, none other than the great Walter Iooss jr, who i believe was originally slated for this shoot. It feels great to be in such good company. You can read the full article here: http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2011-06/condoleeza-rice-interview
He’s at it again, and just in time for some nice pre- Oscar publicity. Go on lad, win yourself a shiny little statue. If you haven’t seen ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ i highly recommend it. So entertaining, and in Banksy’s own subversive way, enlightening. Anyway, so i thought what better way to spend this holiday monday than on a little street-art scavenger hunt around LA. I originally had four Banksy’s on my shopping list, but found out the de-faced billboard on Sunset has been taken down (apparently the owners realized it would now be a collectors piece, so put it in storage), and a cheeky cigarette smoking arsonist Charlie Brown, ready to pour gasoline on a burned out building. This was my particular favourite, but that too has been removed somehow (they must have literally cut half the wall out or something). Anyway, here’s what’s left……. so far anyway. Banksy, give us some more of your excapades. By the way, if he wins the Oscar, my money is on Mr. Brainwash doing the honors to receive the award.
I heard today that Lorena Ochoa, the world’s number 1 female golfer ( and has been so since the beginning of time, or so it seems), is retiring right in the middle of the season, and right at the top of her game! I had the great pleasure of being asked by Sports Illustrated to travel down to her home town of Guadalajara, Mexico and do a shoot with her for their end of year portfolio. It was a great trip and shoot, and Lorena was so unassuming and sweet to work with. I can only imagine it’s a temporary retirement ( i.e. a break form the game), as she’s been the queen of women’s golf since she was 8!