My friend Thomas Deneuville recently let me tag along while he was interviewing composer and 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner, David Lang, in his beautiful Soho loft.
This is a story of a shoot that took place, but never really happened.
On April 1st, I got a call from Ronnie Weil at The Wall Street Journal, asking if I wanted to shoot Sarah Palin the next day.
After quickly ruling out an April fools joke, I poured myself a Budweiser, open a fresh pack of beef jerkies, put on a Toby Keith’s record and breathed in a paper bag for a couple of hours while texting Brad Trent and my mum for moral support. In that order.
It was the first time in my career that I had to portray someone who I had so much antipathy previous to the shoot.Culturally, ideologically, Sarah Palin and I come from different worlds. I am French, socialist, pro-choice. And I don’t think it’s a reasonable idea to sell machine guns at Wallmart.
I didn’t want to trick her or ridicule her like Jill Greenfield did to Mc Cain a few years back. On the other hand, I didn’t wanted to do a promotional/ propanganda picture either.
I decide to leave that distance between us and shoot her like an anthropologist discovering a new civilisation and trying to describe it as precisely as possible. The “Girls with guns” belt buckle, the “ Don’t tread on me” bracelet.
I am not sure if I am too happy with myself, but I think It’s at least a sincere photograph and sometime it’s all you get…
I appear in the story by the unstoppable Alexandra Wolfe, who does a very good job describing the 20 minutes shoot, the crowded hotel room, the lack of trust between them and us, even my french charm failing. And the PR guy, formerly a president Bush employee, who will most likely not invite me for Thanksgiving…
Fun fact: In her first draft, Alexandra made me appear in the conclusion looking frenetically for the keys to the minibar.
Read the article on Ozy HERE.
I went to Harlem a couple of weeks ago for The Wall Street Journal to portray musician and producer Gary Gunn.
The shoot was really chill and his two bengal kitten were so cute It was almost unbearable.
Read the article here
On Monday, I went to photograph Journalist and typewriter enthusiast Robert Neuwirth at his tiny Lower east side office. I could barely fit with him in the room.
Robert has been traveling extensively around the globe working on the squatter movement and more recently on the rise of the informal economy. You can read the article here.
And watch his excellent TED talk here.
On a personal side note, I am very excited to start collaborating with the newly launched Ozy.com, and even more excited to continue working with photo-director Leslie Dela Vega who had previously hired me at Fast Company, and whose awesomeness knows no limits.
More portraits coming soon!