Posts from the Celebrities Category

Shooting comics is a blast!  We’ve done sessions with Rita Rudner, Lisa Lampanelli, John Henson (of course), Soupy Sales, and we recently had a super fun shoot with world class comic, Brian Regan!  Brian is coming off of the first live stand-up comedy TV special in Comedy Central history, “Brian Regan – Live from Radio City Music Hall“!   We love Brian’s humor, it’s innocent, humble and above all, so funny you risk cardiac arrest watching him work.  Best to watch wearing a bib and a diaper!  Shooting Brian was a photographer’s dream…turn camera on, point it, click repeatedly.  It’s hard to keep someone in focus when you’re laughing!  The photos will be used for his webpage, posters, and billboards.  Watch for them and send us a photo or screenshot.  Here are some of the shots that came out of the session and some behind the scenes stuff.  Brian even took over the camera for a while :).  Check out Brian on his website and YouTube, and if he comes to play near your home, by all means get there!

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Last week we had the exciting opportunity to create the new publicity photo for Marja Vongerichten, a previous client who is now the hostess for “Kimchi Chronicles” on PBS. “Kimchi Chronicles” is part travelogue, part food narrative, and part documentary of self-discovery. Marja, a Korean American-Adoptee, explores Korean food and culture, and her unique life story is told throughout the series. In the show, viewers experience Korea through Marja’s distinct perspective. “Kimchi Chronicles” features Marja, her husband, celebrated chef and New York restauranteur, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and other special guests including actress Heather Graham, and actor Hugh Jackman. Check it out on PBS!

Marja Vongerichten Hostess of PBS's Kimchi Chronicles

Marja Vongerichten
Hostess of PBS’s Kimchi Chronicles

We were called recently to shoot new publicity photographs for Hilary Kramer, one of Wall Street’s most successful equity analysts and investment managers. Hilary is the editor of three weekly investing services for individual investors; GameChangers, Breakout Stocks Under $10 and High Octane Trader (all for InvestorPlace Media). She is also a regular contributor to MarketWatch.com, Forbes.com and is a weekly commentator on Nightly Business Report. And Hilary has a new book, “The Little Book of Big Profits from Small Stocks”. This was our second shoot with Hilary, which always makes the session even more fun because we are already friends and have a history to play off of. Hilary wanted to shoot a range of looks reflecting her image as a down to earth, but polished and energetic analyst and commentator. Here are a few of the results, which are now up on all of her websites..
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Hilary Kramer © Joe Henson 2012 All Rights Reserved

Hilary Kramer
© Joe Henson 2012
All Rights Reserved

My career brings me in contact with fascinating people. I love meeting and working with clients whose lives and experiences inspire and elevate us all. Marian Fontana is such a person. Marian lost her husband, a firefighter from Squad 1 in Park Slope, in the 911 World Trade Center attack. A single mother raising her 5 year old son, Aiden, she channeled her grief into action and creation, writing “A Widow’s Walk” which is a compelling memoir of her experience. Marian’s story was selected on “The New York Times” best selling memoir list and was chosen as the Top Ten Great Reads of 2005 by “People” magazine and “The Washington Post’s” Book Raves of 2005.  She also founded and was President of the 911 Widows and Victims’ Families Association. Her honesty and humor have served to help her navigate through the heartbreak and trauma she has endured. Her new publicity photos are the heralding of a resurgence in her performing and acting career. Marian is talented, inspirational, and totally unique! And it was an honor to help her create her new headshot!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is meeting interesting and talented people and spending time getting to know them and understand what type of photograph they need. We recently had the pleasure of shooting Susan Narucki, Grammy award winning internationally acclaimed Soprano who has been described as “one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music of her generation.” You can visit her website at susannarucki.net to learn all about her storied career and hear her incredible voice!

Susan was warm and extremely personable and explained that she wanted to update her publicity photos, capturing many different aspects of her presence from classic to current. Kerry-Lou, my talented hair and make-up artist and I had a great time helping Susan put together the elements of her different looks. And check out those hair changes!  When the session was complete, we had ten finished images for Susan to use.

The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” couldn’t have been more appropriate. Susan, like many of the talented people we have photographed, was down to earth and lovely and her glamorous energy comes through loud and clear. Bravo Susan!

All images of Susan Narucki © Joe Henson 2012, All Rights Reserved

I recently had an old friend, Scott Baker, actor extraordinaire and master of the arcane sideshow culture, come to the studio.  We are both fans of the old Horror Movies of the 60’s.  For my 10th birthday party, my Mother rented an projector and showed “Village of the Damned” in my basement.  The cement walls echoed with screams and laughter!  Vincent Price was our idol.  We’ve talked about films like “The Tingler” which was about a parasite that attached to the victim’s spine and took control of their body.  At the premiere the seats were actually wired to give a mild shock to the movie-goer whenever the shadow of the “Tingler” crossed over the screen!  It was evident that we had to shoot an homage to the old days of Thriller and Twilight Zone.  So here it is…dare to look into “The Hypnotic Eye”!!!!!!!!

Check out “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead“, a recently published coffee table book profiling the writers and artists who made the National Lampoon insanely great.  The image rich book, written by Rick Meyerowitz, the artist who created one of the best known Nat Lamp covers ever, the Mona Gorilla Da Vinci cover, tells the story of the Counter-Culture’s funniest and most provocative magazine from an insider’s prospective.

The book features my photograph of Ed Subitzky, a brilliant (and still living!) cartoonist.  I remember his shoot well for two reasons, one that he was the epitome of the mild-mannered, bald guy with glasses; and two, that his partner Susan seemed to share a psychic link with Ed and spoke for him throughout the entire experience.  “Ed would like the photo to reflect…” she would say, while Ed smiled and shyly nodded.  I’m not sure I ever even heard Ed speak throughout the shoot.  My guess is that he speaks through his detailed and psychologically subversive cartoons which you can sample in Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead.  Go Ed!  “Blessed are the meek!”

 

Driving back from a weekend shoot in DC yesterday, I was listening to NPR.  The subject of the show was learning poems by memory and what effect that had on the “memorizer “.  I love listening to NPR.  The hosts seem so cultured and civilized… reminds me of my old college days, surrounded by people dedicated to improving their minds.  Listeners were invited to call in to the show and recite poems they had committed to memory.  The show was both entertaining and emotional.  Many of the callers reflected on the effect that certain poems had on their lives, or  poetry and how it was linked with memorable moments in their lives.  The host quoted a line from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism explaining why poetry connected so strongly with so many people.
“True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’d,
What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d;
Something whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That give us back the image of our mind.”
 
My thought on hearing this fragment was that Pope had stated the nature of all art, to create something that both rings true and also refines and gives detail to the vague images that swirl through our shared universal consciousness.  Art…you know it when you see it.

These thoughts led me to remember a shoot I once had with Dick Cavett.  Some of you are old enough to remember his TV show in NY and the many amazing moments it was responsible for generating.  His show was urbane, compelling and full of surprises.  Remember Cavett’s interview with Marlon Brando and Brando’s post show attack on Ron Galella (the first paparazzi star)?  Brando got tired of Galella tailing he and Cavett as they walked the streets of NY, so he whirled around and punched Galella flush in the nose.  Subsequently Galella would follow Brando wearing a football helmet.  Once Cavett convinced Katherine Hepburn to come to his studio just to get a feel for it because she was considering an unheard or rare interview.  She surprised him by deciding on the spot to do the show which forced Cavett to pull off a fantastic spur on the moment interview with just a skeleton crew. And then there was the time that Cavett substituted for Johnny Carson one night and interviewed my 60’s idol, Jimi Hendrix.  I still remember one exchange between them.

Cavett – “Jimi, you are a Sagittarius, aren’t you?”
 
Jimi – “Constantly…”
 
Very cool.

So what does poetry have to do with my shoot with Dick Cavett?  In our shoot as we developed a rapport and because I knew that Cavett took pride in his intellectual abilities and education, I challenged him to play a game wherein each person would recite the first line of a poem and the other had to complete the second line.  It was my attempt to keep him involved and connected during the shoot.  I lead off with T.S. Elliott “Let us go then, you and I…”  and he took it from there “When the evening is spread out against the sky, like a patient etherized upon a table.”  He countered with Archibald MacLeish “Quite unexpectedly as Vaserot, the armless ambidextrian…” and I bobbed and weaved with ” was lighting a match between his great and second toe…”
 
And on and on it went.  It was great fun, made the shoot fly by, and I’m sure my English professors would have been pleased.  
 
 
The end result was this shot, of which I am very proud, because he came in wearing the leather jacket but his manager wanted him to wear a sports coat.  I thought the leather jacket looked great, so I suggested that we shoot some in that.  It wasn’t in the original plan, but it was the shot he ended up using, even when he did the Broadway production of “Rocky Horror”.   
 
Dick Cavett and poetry, forever connected in my mind.


Soupy Sales passed on October 22nd at 83 years old. He was a true comedic legend and a totally unique personality whose style influenced many after him including Pee-wee Herman and Andy Kaufman. He will truly be missed.

About 8 years ago my phone rang and low and behold, “Hi Joe, this is Soupy Sales! I need a new photograph and my agent said I should see you!” Another unexpected and exciting moment, and one of the reasons I love my job so much. I grew up with Soupy Sales as a household name. I had followed him from “Lunch with Soupy Sales” to “Whats’ My Line” to “The New Soupy Sales Show”. And there he was calling for a headshot! Wow! Soupy Sales! My mind was swimming with memories as I booked his shoot…asking the kids to go into their parents’ wallets and send him the little pieces of green paper…”Doing the Mouse”, his single, was the fasting selling single in history in it’s time…and much pie throwing, even at Frank Sinatra!!!!!

When he came to the shoot, he couldn’t have been nicer or more professional. He came with his wife Trudy, who was an ex-June Taylor Dancer from the Old Jackie Gleason Show. She was still a stunner.

The session was easy and fun and Soupy was open and crazy and totally frank with his industry war stories and opinions. I loved the shoot with Soupy. I told him about seeing his sons who played in “Tin Machine” with David Bowie and he told me how proud he was of them. At the end of his session, he invited me to lunch at his apartment on the Eastside and I would have done anything to go, but alas, I had another session to shoot.

After our work was done, a signed 8X10 arrived in the mail. It was our photograph and he had signed it “I love you, Joe,
Soupy Sales”

My shoot with Soupy Sales – a big memory for me. Rest in Peace Soupy.