The month of May flew by, but looking back it was a good month. I did a lot of new fashion, beauty and celebrity images for my portfolio. I had an opening exhibit of my images from India in Switzerland, photographed legendary singer Aretha Franklin in NYC for her new cd cove, and shot a fashion story with Sony documenting the process on video. It was a good month despite the recession.
My week in NYC was great all around. It started with the Infinity Awards honoring Annie Leibovitz and other for their work in photography. The day after the awards was my fashion shoot and working to pull off six powerful images was challenging but fun to work on. The fashion story is a spec. story, and by this I mean I will shop it along with the jewelry story I did a few weeks ago to a magazine I have connections with in Milan, Italy. Hopefully they will love the images and give me great coverage of both. I've selected Zoom magazine in Italy for my spec. stories because the magazine is sold all over the world vs just in the States.
The day after my fashion story was Aretha Franklin day. I was very excited about the entire week but most excited about this day. I was also on edge because of the weather forecast and was literally watching it hour by hour because rain was in the forecast for five straight days. We were shooting in studio first and then going to Central Park and then a night shoot in Times Square. All of this took ton's of production and figuring out every aspect. I had three assistants on the shoot but a smaller crew than usual because Ms. Franklin likes it that way. This would be my fifth or sixth time working with her. My crew met me and we set up the studio with different sets. The lighting was my signature light to capture Ms. Franklin in all her glory. To set the mood I started playing my Aretha Mix which is a collection of all my favorite Aretha songs. As my crew set up the studio Aretha's voice filled the air and put us all in the mood for the day. When Ms. Franklin arrived we were all set for a great day. I've played this mix many times but never while I photographed Ms. Franklin but today I decided to let it play and it was the best thing I could have done. As we shot everyone from the bodyguards to my assistants were in a trance listening to Ms. Franklin's top songs of all time. It make the shoot so easy and Ms. Franklin at times started singing along and I just captured the images until I felt we had the shot and moved to the next. We shot four images in studio and it went smoothly. During the shoot Ms. Franklin said "Jordan I was looking at your website and you have a lot of friends". It took me a moment but then I realized she was speaking about my Facebook page and I was shocked that she looked at Facebook. We laughed and kept shooting. Once done in studio we prepared to go on location. My crew prepared to get all the gear in our location vehicle as I walked Ms. Franklin to her bentley. As she got in the car, she looked at me and said "Jordan, pick one. Central Park or Times Square"! I said Times Square and she said okay I'll see you in an hour or so. With that my crew set off to Times Square and called my agent who was producing to alert the police to meet us there.
Once we were set up and the area was secure in Times Square we prepared to shoot at night. I called Ms. Franklin when we were ready and she drove up and the security blocked off our area and we started shooting. As we shot a huge crowd watched on three sides of us and cheered. It was one of the most amazing shoots I've had this year and my favorite session to date with Ms. Franklin. At one point I turned around and looked at the crowd behind me and all I could see was a zillion point and shoot cameras and phones taking images. I could only laugh. When I had the shot I shouted "that's a wrap"and Ms. Franklin bowed to me and then to the crowd and they went crazy. There is nothing that can compare to photographing Aretha Franklin in Times Square at night. Thank you Ms. Franklin!
Always Dream Big!