Matthew Aucoin, conductor & composer for The Wall Street Journal.

Did you ever meet a prodigy?
I did.

Matt Aucoin wrote his first symphony when he was 4, conducted an orchestra at age 8, wrote an opera at 11, studied poetry at Harvard along the way.

Now 24,he is the youngest assistant conductor of the Met ever and The Wall Street Journal wonders if he might be the next Leonard Bernstein.

Therefore, 2 weeks ago, He met me…

The shoot was to happen at the Cornelia Street Cafe. It has a little stage with a piano in the basement but it was very narrow and dark. We decided to take a walk and ended up checking out records at nearby NY’s institution House of Oldies Rare Records on Carmine street.

Thanks to the lovely Tara Howard for offering me my second Arena section cover!

Gabriel Kahane, songwriter for The Wall Street Journal.

A few weeks ago, Ericka Burchett at The wall Street Journal sent me to portray songwriter Gabriel Kahane at home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
I was told specifically to include Gab’s piano in the shot, but It was a lovely afternoon and his street was really cute, so during the interview and while the infamous Ryan was setting up inside, I went to tour the block.
And there! Right around the corner!!!
Providence had placed an abandoned piano like it was waiting for a photo-shoot!
Et Voila.

Read the article here.

Gabriel’s music room was lovely though.

Sarah Palin, former politician & Real-tv personality for the Wall Street Journal.

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…

Read the story here

Fun fact: In her first draft, Alexandra made me appear in the conclusion looking frenetically for the keys to the minibar.

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