1. HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHO WAS THE VERY FIRST PERSON YOU EVER TOOK A PHOTO OF IN YOUR CAREER AS A RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER?
My dad taught me how to develop and print my own images when I was 12. So that was over 45 years ago. I never thought of it as a career but rather as a quiet way of expressing myself. In college I studied theatre but my darkroom, cameras and photo books were always with me. In 1976 I moved from Boston to NYC with a jazz musician and soon my hobby became my passion, life and career. I began shooting jazz musicians for a new label and one thing led to another, as they say. The jazz trumpeter Chet baker was my first official NYC portrait.
2. YOU HAVE MANAGED TO CREATE SOME VERY ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS OF A FAVORITE LADY OF OURS, MADONNA. WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED SHOT OF HER?
I must have shot no more than 36 images of her that day in about 20 minutes. They are one shot in my mind. They were very similar in tone and when I see them I see both of us at our beginning.
3. WHAT WAS MADONNA LIKE TO WORK WITH? ANY CHARMING OR IDIOSYNCRATIC HABITS SHE POSSESSED?
She was quiet, almost shy. We barely spoke but I can see that I did manage to ask her to make little changes through out the shoot and I supplied the lollipop and gum!
4. WHEN YOU ARE SHOOTING A SUBJECT, DO YOU PREFER TO CAPTURE THEIR ESSENCE IN FAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS OR HAVE THEM LEAP OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE AND DO SOMETHING DARING?
I always enjoy the challenge that each location presents.
5. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CREATES SO MANY EMOTIONS- FROM MELANCHOLIA, HAPPINESS, NOSTALGIA, AND JOY- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EMOTION TO CAPTURE?
Seriously, anything but BORED!
6. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE ART OF CAPTURING A MOMENT IN TIME THAT MAKES YOU SO PASSIONATE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?
I learned about capturing the moment from listening to jazz musicians improvise. Each playing their own version but always coming back together.
7. WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE TO SHOOT?
Madonna, Tom Wolfe, Laura Linney, David Byrne and James Brown.
8. MOST OUTRAGEOUS MOMENT DURING A SHOOT AND WHO WAS IT WITH?
Billy Idol. He knocked all of my lights down and walked out of the studio.
9. IS NEW YORK THE MOST PERFECT MELTING POT OF INTERESTING INDIVIDUALS THAT GIVES WAY TO TREMENDOUS PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES?
Anything goes and no one really cares. There is a lot of freedom in this city.
10. YOUR ARCHIVE SHOTS ARE A VERITABLE ‘WHO’S WHO’ OF THE CELEBRITY WORLD. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO MAKE SUCH ICONIC PERSONALITIES SO COMFORTABLE WITH YOU?
I am very comfortable when I am working and it transcends to everyone around me. I love what I do and it shows. I also realize that people are usually somewhat anxious about being photographed and I never forget that.
QUICK RANDOM ONES
FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH?
BEST PLACE TO HAVE AN OUTDOOR SHOOT IN NEW YORK?
FILM OR DIGITAL?
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO SHOOT NEXT AND HOW?