Wednesday, February 3, 2010
It's always a good week when I have a magazine cover on the newstands. But It's a great week when it's ESPN magazine. Every Year ESPN does their fan issue, which is about fans, for fans, athletes as fans, etc.. This year I got to photograph Minnesota twin Joe Mauer, the hottest bat in the american league. He was voted American league MVP last year for his hitting and all around baseball skills. He wasnt chosen for the cover because of that though, he was chosen for the cover because the writers and editors at ESPN decided he was the most fan friendly player in baseball. He's the kind of player that sticks around until the last person has their autograph, and amazingly he reads and answers fan mail himself. Usually magazines have a concept for a cover, and when Catriona called, she told me they had a few. One was a boy holding a dog, and joe about to sign the dog. That one was to convey that Joe is so fan friendly, he'll sign just about anything. The other one was joe signing his name in the air, and we would add his signature (which we photographed separately on a big piece of poster board) in post. The last one was a line of fans waiting for a signature. Catriona wanted me to think about it for the night and call her back next day to discuss, and add any of my ideas into the mix as well. I really loved the dog idea, but deep down I was thinking that that picture was breaking the 2 biggest rules of phototgraphy: dont work with children or animals because you can't control either!! And this was BOTH! But, I love a challenge so said let's go for it, and I have pretty good kid-and-animal-on-a-shoot karma so i wasnt worried. The signing in the air idea was pretty straight forward so I knew we could get that one pretty easy. And the real wildcard to me was the fans in line shot. I was thinking about it that night and I really had this vision of a Norman Rockwell-esque scene, a bit over the top, classic americana, with a bit of humor but not ironic. I thought let's put a fireman in line, and an old lady, and a little kid, and a construction worker, and a fisherman, and they can all be holding something big to have signed. Catriona loved it, but the hard part was now casting and producing it and of course we only had a day and a half. But we got to work, I got on a plane, Catriona and St. Patricia got on the phone to get it rolling. I read the tattoo on my wrist and new everything would be allright. Had a great time on this one, there were lots of pieces and stuff to worry about, but I learned a long time ago that it always gets done, just sometimes you gotta will it and push pull drag coax beg plead borrow steal plead to get it done and looking great. And if it still is being stubborn, I just channel my inner Yoda and use the force......"Do or do not, there is no try."
Posted by nathaniel at 4:04 PM