Wednesday, June 25, 2008

John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, telling the Autograzzi - "I'm Gonna Sign until My Fucking Signature is Worthless"

In recent months I have been focusing on celebrity event shooting, but when I was a "Fan Paparazzi" I used to have to wait until the exits at an event or After Party to photograph my subjects, sometimes I miss doing this, hanging with my "fan" friends, a few of my paparazzi friends, this is a great time to really talk about the war stories of the celebrity business. Last week I schedule my jaunt to NYC purposely so I could hang out with a few of my "photo with" and "autograzzi" friends. Since I left the business has grown tremendously, with at least two dozen new faces out in the field. Every year the "Songwriters Hall of Fame" is held at the Marriott Marquis. Most of the people in this picture are there for 'graphs or "photos with". The peps to the left are checking out who is coming down the escalators and to leave. Last Thursday one of the honorees was John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls
As John Rzeznik exited the hotel a feeding frenzy of sorts took over with the autograzzi jostling each other to get his signature on a CD, a guitar pick guard, a photo etc., while the photo with people try and get a shot "with" here are some of the folks getting the guitar guards signed Since I left, I see this family has started a business, here's a mom digging guitar guards out of a bag, at 1AM last Thursday, to give to her hmm what 10 year old to get signed (Dad's getting things signed too.) This is about the time that John Rzeznik gleefully states, give them to me, "I am going to sign every fucking one so none of you bastards make a dime off of me." He signed, and signed and signed for a good 15 minutes, until finally he broke free from the frenzied crowd. (did you ever see "Suddenly Last Summer", well in the last scene where Sebastian gets devoured by the boys cash grabbing boys, this is what this scenario reminds me. It was disgusting, and shocking to see. (I guess both obtaining 'graphs and doing paparazzi work isn't very pretty as we try and satisfy the demand for the paying public) and no worse for the wear John Rzeznik and his beautiful girlfriend were off Here's a link to the speech he gave that night at the "Songwriters Hall of Fame"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

IDINA MENZEL & TAYE DIGGS 2008 TONY AWARDS RED CARPET PHOTOS: Unlimited Together we're unlimited Together we'll be the greatest team

the moment you walked in the room and laid your eyes on me. and then i knew it, i knew you were the one meant for me - Confession: This is called the Two Shot, not sold as much as the fashion shot and we are talking about women and fashion. Women are the majority when it comes to buying the glossies and they want to see fashion. So and they want to see it all, vertically, the fashion shotand it must be a little emasculating for the men to have to step aside. I really felt for Taye here. I was trying to call him to get his fashion shot or even a good head shot but he kept making faces like this serious one.
I have shot Idina before and sometimes she does this irritating doe in headlights stare. Gurl just relax, we love you and want to do good by you, but stop with this face. Hey I hear your new CD drops soon and you will be playing the Borgata in Atlantic City next week. (Which by the way is the same week as the opening for: The Water Club– a signature hotel by Borgata. This luxurious property will introduce a new brand of hospitality to Atlantic City, offering a unique personality of its own, while just steps away from the entertainment, nightlife, and dining of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. The 43-story, $400 million hotel will feature 800 upgraded guestrooms and suites; a two-story 'spa in the sky,' 18,000 square feet of meeting space; three Residences modeled after chic, urban lofts; five heated pools -indoor and outdoor, each offering a distinct experience; and six retail shops, while offering direct access to and from Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.) I have no idea why Taye turned his back, maybe it was the flashes, maybe thats why you sometimes have that doe look stare, you are forcing your eyes to bear the brunt. but look at the final product it doesn't exude your beauty or spirit. So please, please Idina practice, have Taye photograph you at home. Your talent will take you far, but your beauty and talent will take you even further, but you have to give us good face!! now theres the photo I would want, look at that smile Girl you are working that necklace. It must have been taped into place, it did not move, it was kicking it in place.
Check out this happy face when Idina greets her friend Laura Benanti who later went on to win a TONY Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical "Gypsy"
why can't you give us a smile like this all the time, well maybe not so much teeth, but they are teeth to die for How about a shot like this after Taye asked one of the photographers to take your pictures. Unlimited Together we're unlimited Together we'll be the greatest team bye byeback to my stepford wife pose, which is entirely too serious Youtube of the meeting between Idina and Laura, I shot the photos with my other hand. The Original Cast Members of RENT The Water Club, A Signature Hotel by Borgata (I was invited to cover the opening and see Idina's concert, but I can't make it. I wish you well Idina)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TONY AWARDS 2008 PHOTOS re: bloopers, Publicists, Confessions on the Red Carpet

First I just want to say that it is not lost on me how fortunate I have been in my celebrity photography career since I first started shooting professionally 18 months ago; and before that I spent 18 months as a "Fan" shooting celebs with my pocket camera. That being said, I shot the Tony Awards Sunday, a dream come true for me, a big Broadway fan and fan of many of the actors, and just the tradition of a live show. It's a big deal.
Photography check in was at 4PM, but I thought I would pass by about 2PM because I am anal and have to see how the set up is. It had rained about 30 minutes before and the workers were using squeegees to get the water off the carpet. I was wondering how they were going to get it dry for all those flowing gowns. Then they broke out the wet vacs There were already fans in line for the event, and they were experienced as they knew where the car drop off was and that to the immediate right of me is the entrance to Rockefeller Center and the Tony Award Press Room. So the winner would exit the door across the street then go into the door to my right. It was a perfect spot to get a picture, and for a couple years that where I liked to stand.
On to the red carpet. I am not going to show you the photos that you probably already saw, I want to show you the photos that you probably didn't see. Here Kevin Mazur of Wireimage gets a shot from the red carpet of CBS CEO Les Moonves and (Big Brother) Julie Chen. I don't know who the photographer is behind him, but these two get the free reign of the carpet and usually the best shots. They would be considered the AA List photographers. Being a paparazzi I love these unscripted moments when two actors greet each other and have a geniune moment. Here is Michael Cerveris, musician Harry Connick Jr. and daughter Georgia. Most red carpet events do not have so many people on them at once. The PR people and publicist move the people along at a good pace, but you usually don't have people standing behind the people you want to photograph. It seems the VIP and their guests used the same door. Here's Brooke Shields publicist gently trying to pull her towards the next set of photographers for a photo. The publicist/PR of each celebrity, is also supposed to introduce the subject to the photographers, in this case it wasn't necessary. At this event the PR for the Tony's gave us Tip Sheets with the names and photos of most of the people who were to walk the red carpet.The publicists wear many hats, most importantly to help their client navigate the red carpet of hazards and pitfalls. Now this pitfall probably doesn't happen every day, but because it had rained, the red tape used to fuse the carpets together wasn't sticky enough to stay put. This guy is retaping it as Anthony Rapp (Rent) cools his heels. Across the street the fans were out in full force; every year more and more people show up, but this year they are probably here for one guy who will be appearing on Broadway this fall. And thankfully for me I don't have to kill myself trying to shoot him there as I got him tonight. Here Daniel Radcliff is with his publicist who is keeping a close eye on the crowd and his time. He is just about in the same spot I was standing when I was checking out the scene earlier in the day. I was quite irritated that the bodyguard on his right didn't move out of the way a tad. Had I gotten a clear shot his Daniel's face and the crowd, it would have been the "Money Shot" and here he is on the red carpet. It was interesting to see how they cleared it for him Note his publicist gently pushing him down the carpet for the next shot. In the background is Taye Diggs. I will be doing a piece on he and Idina on Wednesday and confess what is like to be married to a beautiful women as he is.During events like the Tony's, Oscars, Grammys etc a photographer will run through 3 or 4 memory cards. Getty Images has a person on site to hold the cards, the batteries, and extra stuff so when the photographer needs something they can call to the person who was standing behind me. Oh no tragedy. The red tape might not be sticky enough to hold the red carpet together, but it's doing a good job with Kelli O'Hara's chiffon dress
A good publicist knows how to cut through the red tape and get on with it Here Publicist Noah navigate's his clients against the stream of people to get the photo op that they missed in the commotion. The photographers are packed in like sardines to get their photos. Note the girl in the blue tafeta dress squeeze under and between the guys to get the shot she wants. She is actually standing in the place where my ladder is located. I shoot behind these guys in the "window", which is the spot where she is standing, but high up on the ladder. Shooting between the two guys shoulder is called the window.
Sometimes the shots come out great, sometime I have to crop their camera's out of my shot. These kids are going to be in the new Elton John Broadway show "Billy Elliott". In this case it would have been helpful if the PR gave us their names as not only weren't they introduced or on the tip list.Project Runway Winner Christian Siriano gets fanned by his publicist so he can face the photographers. Christian Siriano and his friend who's a boy, standing right in the damn photo The ultimate shot, double dipping for me as I shot Liza Minnelli at the begining of the red carpet, but just needed to get a few more photos of her. Do you see her publicist to the left doing the universal sign of "Stop" Liza has to do interviews now. Liza ignored her and continued to allow the snappers to shoot her. (And check out Todays Idina and Taye on the red carpet ) Check out for more Liza photos and commentary. (EDITOR UPDATE: this is a great site for what went on backstage: also I will be posting video from the red carpet sometime this week.) And don't forget to check out my favorite Broadway site by my friend Sarah, has a pretty impressive site herself, including behind the scene photos of many events you want to know about: Endless Pursuit of Entertainment/ and one more thing: Great shots by Walter McBride on Broadway World of Patti looking at her Tony:


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