There are some truly creative people in this industry. Letâ€™s face it, youâ€™ve got to be constantly concepting, developing, and executing or you get left in the dust. Iâ€™m fortunate to work with some really dynamic and inspiring people, ranging from art directors, to producers, to creative directors, photo editors, art buyers, and print producers. Instead of questions about email blasts, printed promos, and portfolio reviews, I think that itâ€™s time that I put some of them on the spot to show us their meaning of Life. â€œThe meaning of Lifeâ€ may be a little far flung to answer in only ten questions, but hopefully these interviews will serve to distill some of the inspired and intellectual energy of the creatives that we work with.
There’s a very good chance that if you’re in the photo industry, you are reading this blog post from either an iPhone, iPad, iMac or Macbook. Coincidentally, there’s also a very good chance that fellow photographer Hunter Freeman has shot campaigns for Apple featuring photos of the very device you’re reading this on. He’s a great guy and I feel proud to be in the same agency with him. Enough from me though, I’ll let Hunter tell the rest…
1. Name one actor you’d like to portray you in a movie about your life?
I’d say Tom Hanks would be a good choice. He’s got the skills to convey the different parts of my life, and he’s as good-looking as I am. I’m sure he’d also be able to excellently portray a doofus, nimrod and clueless dolt, which was me for the first twenty-five years of my life. I’m sure he’d then be able to portray someone who has grown into the intelligent, thoughtful, creative and funny guy that I pretend to be.
2. What is your preferred vehicle or mode of transportation?
My dad was an engineer, and he instilled in me an appreciation of things that are well made, such as tools. He (and I as his son) very much appreciated the craft and skill required to make something that was precise, accurate, and durable. My choice of vehicular transport would have to be a car that has those characteristics. In my mind, the Germans do the best job. Lots of choices there, but I would say that one of the best made cars out there is the 2013 Boxster S in Agate Grey Metallic, with 14-way Power Sports Seats and Infotainment Package with Burmester High-End Surround System. Being so well made, it is a dream to drive. And, most importantly, it goes like a bat out of hell.
3. What is your favorite beverage for creative inspiration?
Not being a consumer of adult beverages, I nonetheless have many choices here. At different times, it has been as simple as a bottle of Pepsi or a classic Arnold Palmer. I’d have to say now, though, that for slaking my thirst as well as providing inspiration, I would go with the San Pellegrino Arianciata Rossa (Blood Orange). It’s dee-licous, and it helps with the illusion that I am slightly hip.
4. Name your all time favorite band, singer, or album?
This is tough, like being asked to name your favorite son or daughter. Hard to choose, and don’t know where to start (or stop). Hard not to go for the Beatles. But what about The Stones, and Led Zepelin? And have you ever been to a Bruce Springsteen concert? What energy he and his band have! For an album, I’d have to go old school and say “Beggars Banquet” by the Rolling Stones. It was so of its time, and “Sympathy for the Devil” keeps popping up in our culture, particularly in movie scores. Best singer – this is a tough one as well, there are just too, too many: Jackie Wilson, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Leon Redbone, Marvin Gaye, Aretha, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Elvis. Since I just saw the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom”, though, I’ll go with Merry Clayton. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to watch one her earliest Stones concerts just to hear her sing “Gimme Shelter.” Incredible.
5. Name one place in the world that you’ve been and can’t wait to return to and why?
Paris. The streets, the markets, the art, the views – I’d go there in a heartbeat. So much to see and do. So beautiful. What I wouldn’t give for a fresh Parisian baguette or a superior pain au chocolat. Plus, Paris has that certain “je ne sais quoi”, that I don’t know what it is.
6. What is favorite shoot of all time?
Back in the dot-com days, there were a lot of companies that were a ton of fun to shoot for. I never laughed so hard on a job than when I shot a campaign for pets.com. If you don’t recall, they had a sock-puppet mascot, and he was in every one of the ads. One of my assistants at the time came from the Boston area, and his mom had worked for WGBH from the very beginning of Sesame Street. He was totally into the whole puppet thing, and I had him be the socket puppeteer. He was spectacular during the shoot. Just having someone who was into the role, and being completely crazy and spontaneous made for some wonderfully hilarious moments. I wished that every job could be that much fun, and do as much for a client as well. Although, having to photograph an elephant in the Hancock Park neighborhood in LA was pretty damn awesome, too. I mean, who doesn’t want to get picked up by an elephant, right?
7. What is your philosophy on creating and inspiring?
I’m sticking with the Picasso quote on this one: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” I find that the more I work at creating images, the more inspiration I get. I feel that there are an infinite number of ideas – right here, right now – waiting to be revealed. And just as the idea of mathematics is not “in” someone’s pointy little head, so all those other ideas exist, and not “in” anyone’s pointy head. Just the fact that they are waiting to be uncovered is inspiring to me. And I think many people would agree that almost any thing or any person or any moment in our lives can inspire us to amazing accomplishments. Helps not to be cynical and a party-pooper as well.
8. Describe a defining moment in your career that has led you to where you are today?
When I started my career in New York, I was fortunate to meet with – in the first month I was shooting on my own – the woman who became my rep while I was there. She’d worked several years before as a temp at ad agencies all over the city, and knew all the CD’s and AD’s when they’d been lowly junior AD’s. She was easily able to meet with so many people, and as luck would have it, a lot of them seemed to like my work and like working with me. My career was really off to the races from the start, and our combination was a very large part of what made my career blossom so early.
9. Name one person you wish you could have a drink with and why?
Jesus. Anyone who was so revolutionary as to suggest that I should love my neighbor as myself, and love my enemies, too (!) has got my attention. I’d love (if you’ll pardon the expression) to talk to him about why he felt that way, and more importantly, how he was able to do that.
10. If the world is ending in 2013, how will you change your life plan?
I would get as many of my friends to join together in Paris, and have the biggest and best party we could possible have. There would need to be a pool. And live music. And I’d have an elephant there, too. Maybe more than one. Ok, an elephant for everyone at the party. We’d need a really big pool.