Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I shot a WHOLE ISSUE of WWE Magazine, a special Backstage Issue. Of course, growing up in florida in the 70's and 80's Dusty Rhodes and Hacksaw Jim Duggan were idols of mine. I wasn't much of a Hulkamaniac though....anyway, i thought it would be cool to do this job. The assignment was a backstage special issue, all the WWE superstars backstage hanging out, getting taped up, working out, etc.. I ended up going to 13 different shows all over the country over the course of a couple of months, lots of traveling. At first, I got the stink eye alot from the wrestlers as I was new and they didnt know who this guy was sticking a camera in their faces. These guys are all pretty intense inspite of the shows being basically entertainment. But by about half way through I was just part of the crew and had a good time. Got a couple of stare downs from Vince Mcmahon a couple of times though, the "get that F-ing camera away from me" look, so I gave him lots of space. The highlight of the whole job for me was getting to see Dusty Rhodes a few times. He doesnt wrestle anymore, but his sons do, and he's there backstage alot as a manager in the WWE family. I was too much of a wimp to ask him to do his signature move on me, the "bionic elbow"......Thanks to Christine Reilly for a superb edit and Brant Louck for treating the pics so beautifully, we did good guys...
Posted by nathaniel at 12:43 PM
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This is out now in the March/April SKI Magazine. I got a call from Sarah Lavigne over at SKI Magazine asking if i would be interested in going to Steamboat in Colorado to do a story about the NASTAR ski championship being held there. Of course I had never heard of NASTAR as I'm not super duper skier dude, but I do ski so it piqued my interest. She told me NASTAR racing is a program where recreational skiers of all abilities can test their skills on a course with gates just like the pros and "we want that Nathaniel Welch take on a slightly kooky event without being ironic or mean". Sounded like my perfect assignment. The key words are "skiers of all levels" and "kooky" because thats who shows up, skiers of all levels, shapes, ages, sizes and abilities there to test their abilities, meet new peeps, maybe win a medal, and drink lots and lots at the parties at night. Sounded like a fun story as it was about the people and the overall atmosphere of the event, not the actual skiing. I really had a blast on this one, as once again I got to meet so many interesting characters and hang out on a mountain for a few days (and drink lots and lots at night). It was challenging for my assistant and I as we had to shoot pretty much all over the mountain at the different courses and had to lug around the cameras and a profoto 7b (those of who know about the profoto 7b know its a 40 pound beast) all on skis just the 2 of us. There were definatley times when we looked at eachother and thought "do we really need to go to that course on the other side of the mountain"? But of course I had to be the general and rally the troops (promises of a great dinner and whiskey). It was great though as the weather was perfect, the people were great, and we stayed an extra 2 days just to ski and enjoy the mountain without the gear. Although, the best part of the whole deal for me was my contributor picture, as Henry made his print debut to the world. In that snapshot we were on our cruise this xmas and we were playing Lawrence of Arabia.........
Posted by nathaniel at 2:09 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Been in Palm Springs this week working on the Womens Tennis Association SUPER HEROS campaign again. I started shooting this campaign back in the spring of last year in Rome, and then again in NYC during the US open. Now we're shooting more of the girls here at the Indian Wells tournament in California. I really love working on this campaign, as I get to shoot some really beautiful women and some really world class athletes all at the same time. So far I've shot most of the best, including Serena and Venus, Sharapova, and Ivanovic, and most of the up and comers and almost retired. I love coming to Palm Springs, I've worked here a couple of times before and fell in love with it here (but only in the winter). One of my fondest memories is of a day I spent with Tammy Faye Baker here back in 1999. It was a surreal experience for sure hanging out with her here. A kitshy, surreal place and a kitshy, surreal subject; they really were made for each other and it made perfect sense once I met her. Spent all day with her in her condo on the golf course. I ended up shooting her in her bathtub, although it was a tight portrait of her face, I used the bathtub because the bathtub walls truly were the only surface in the house that was clean, all the walls in the house were full of pictures and bad paintings. Another reason I love Palm Springs is the thrift stores. Some of the best I've been to, lots of stylish old men leaving their white loafers and brass button coats in the areas thrift stores. I've got a leather shirt I bought here way back when that I still adore and wear from time to time. I need to dig up that old photo of tammy faye and put it up here... heres a few behind the scene snaps my assistant took, an image of Ivanovic and one of Lisicki, and a layout from the campaign being used now. There's a Times Square billboard up now too, I need to get a shot of it!
Posted by nathaniel at 12:20 AM
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Here's the opening spread to the GLAMOUR magazine piece on abortion, as well as a related story I shot last year for MORE magazine. The MORE shoot was about abortion also, but was a feature on Leslee Unruh, the ultra right wing abortion foe. She has been trying to outlaw abortion in her state, South Dakota. Go HERE to read a full bio of her. I think the press hammers her pretty hard, as this story did, but she seems to not mind as long as she can be heard. I actually liked her and enjoyed our shoot and time together. I love the midwest too, and Sodak is a pretty cool place. The best part of my job is scouting. I scouted for this location the day before, it was in a city park on the edge of town. I get so see alot of cool places that i normally wouldnt get to see when i scout. Didnt have time to get a permit so just winged it, which is risky but in editorial photography sometimes its better to ask forgiveness than permission. Anyway, found a great location, god gave me the perfect sky for the story, and the stars all aligned to make a great picture. hope you like it....nw
Posted by nathaniel at 4:50 PM
Shot Jesse James again last week in LA. He's got a new tv show coming out on SPIKE tv soon. It's called JESSE JAMES IS A DEAD MAN. Not sure what its about except Jesse doing some crazy shit. I've been shooting Jesse for a long time now. The first time was for GQ back in 2000 when he was inventing the whole motorcycle/gear head TV show genre. He was the first, now there's dozens of others. Of course my best work with him was the book, JESSE JAMES AND HIS BEAUTIFUL MACHINES. Truly one of my proudest pieces of work. Anyway, it's nice shooting him these days because he trusts me, and that is the hardest thing to get from a subject. He's also a pretty good photographer himself. He's got a mark 3 1ds and a Hasselblad H1 with a leaf back. Serious cameras. He shoots alot of the stuff for the WCC website and catalogues. The picture I posted here is one of my fav's, but the finished product will have a background dropped in by SPIKE of fire and wrecked cars and stuff, I'll put that up when i get it. The other pics are behind the scene stuff that one of my assistants shot....
Posted by nathaniel at 12:24 PM