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.
Here’s a fun little shoot for The Times Magazine (UK) with Dr. Brandy Engler, noted sex therapist and author of ‘The Men on My Couch’. And for some details of the trials and tribulations that often go into location shooting like this, read here on my agency Wonderful Machine’s blog post. You can see the original article in The Times here.
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
You may have heard about the movie ‘Won’t Back Down’ starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, about a couple of parents whose children attend a severely failing school, and are determined to change it for the better. It’s based on a true story about a school in LA, and in reality, those parents did not succeed in changing their school, but the parent trigger law was created as a result. The parents above however, did take on and beat their local school district in Adelanto near Victorville, CA, and in the process became the first group to enact the parent trigger law and take charge of their children’s schooling. Good for them.
We recently did a shoot for The Times magazine (UK) with uber-blogger and ‘Carrie Bradshaw‘ of today’s teen- generation Emma Koenig. As The Donald would say “she’s gonna be huge”! This is a screen- shot of the web version, actual tearsheet coming soon.
Thanks to Condoleezza Rice being one of the first women granted membership to Augusta National, we made the current cover of Golf World magazine. Shot on assignment for Golf Digest last year, Condi was a lot of fun to work with.
Just in time for The Masters, here’s a shoot we did a few weeks ago for Golf World’s backspin issue with 1968 Masters Champion Bob Goalby. Shot at his home in Palm Springs, we asked Bob to take himself back to the 18th at Augusta. He beautifully relived the moment for us, allowing me to recapture that feeling of pure joy and satisfaction.
I’m proud to have been a contributor and part of the winning team for The Times Magazine which last night won Supplement of The Year at the The Press Awards. Thanks to photo editors Graham and Eithne, for some great assignments and the creative freedom to explore. Let’s keep it going!
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.
Youtube sensations Strawburry 17 and David Choi, photographed for German Der Spiegel magazine. Whoever said internet fame isn’t real fame and fortune…. these kids are having sell-out gigs and ridiculous CD sales. Quite unreal when you think of it. Homemade music gone HUGE. Kinda cool. Good luck to ‘em, and both real cool kids.
I recently heard the sad news that installation artist & experimental musician Mike Kelley died earlier this week from an apparent suicide. He was a true creative spirit, whom I had the pleasure of working with for The Wire magazine a good few years ago, and i have to say it produced one of my favorite environmental portraits to date (above left). Mike was a fascinating guy to spend the afternoon with, his home choc-a-bloc with a massive vinyl collection amongst other things. Something you just don’t see anymore. I know he is missed by his family and i send my deepest condolences.
I recently had an interesting assignment for The Times of London saturday magazine, to enter a world unlike any other; where seemingly normal people played out there fantasies….as fantasy characters, and danced in a dance- off…..yes, a fantasy dance-off. Blizzcon is the annual ‘festival’ of Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the video game ‘world of warcraft’ and it’s like Vegas meets toysrus on steroids. Vegas because the three huge conference arenas are dark, packed and endlessly huge, lit only by the glow of thousands of computer screens reflected off expressionless faces staring into oblivion.
But this is the kind of assignment i do enjoy. Where you can literally slip un-noticed into someone else’s world. Observe, capture, document. And with the subjects being so immersed in their own goings on, you can simply shoot and think creatively, without anyone bothering you, or asking questions. I love just being able to roam unfettered. But i have to say, the costumes some of these people created…..quite unbelieveable, they literally shoot themselves. So thank you, made my life easier!