Friday, July 15, 2011

Mens Journal Sports

Its been forever since i've last posted...i've got lots of stuff to post, just hard to get the mojo to do it with a 3 year old in the house...blogging isnt easy for me, as i like to write a bit about the shoot and not just throw up a photo or two...but this recent shoot out now got me off my butt and i have an hour before i have to pick henry up from camp..this shoot of James Harrison i did for mens journal magazine and michelle wolfe, the photo director over there. The other shoot mentioned here i did for them last fall, of NY ranger hockey player Derek Boogaard. I never blogged about that shoot either so will do it here as well. First up is the Derek Boogaard shoot last fall in NYC....I'll start by letting you know Derek passed away unexpectedly this spring, about 4 months after our shoot, which was a big shock to everyone as he was only 30. I didnt even know he died, but got a suspicious email from my agent at corbis, ben hampel, asking me to send a bigger selection from my shoot with him..of course i instantly knew something was up, maybe he was busted for DUI or something scandalous, and corbis was getting alot of was only when i googled him did i find out he was found dead in his apartment....very shocking when i read it and really is always a bit of a reality check when someone you photograph dies, having spent intimate time on a collaborative thing like a portrait. ..i touched on that on this blog when gary coleman aka arnold from different strokes died. just a quick gut check and trying to remember the details of the shoot and my time with them. my memory seems to get worse and worse as i get older, ask jess, she will definately concur...but when it comes to the photos i take, all i have to do is look at it, and i remember everything about the shoot..even a shoot 20 years ago, i may not remember it now, but show me the picture and it will all come flooding back in...this photo of derek i really remember the smell of meat in the locker and the sound of hte huge refrigeration units humming...such a cool way to live life and work life especially. so i went and had a look at this take again and it all came back...We shot Derek in a meat locker down in the meat packing district of NYC, in a sort of homage to the famous scene in rocky where rocky trains by pounding sides of beef...derek was known as a bruiser and keen fighter in the NHL and protecter of the talent....but true to any tough guy i've ever met, he was sweet, quiet, and nice. He showed up with his girlfriend, just coming from a charity appearance with kids, and he and his girl had only been in nyc for a couple months as he'd only recently signed with the rangers..i wrote a list of my fav restaurants down for them, with 32nd street (close to garden) and korea town bbq's as my fav for them to try..and he said any time you want tickets, just give a ring..the shoot went great, we all loved the pictures, and had a generally great time...a fav shoot for sure last fall....and i ended up getting 4 tickets to a game over the winter at the garden, first time seeing the rangers, and henry loved it....very sad when i heard he passed, but another reminder that every day is awesome no matter was very cool shooting in a meat locker too,,,we had to wear winter coats on this warm september day as it was 35 degrees in the cooler...and the guys working at the meat packing house there said "anytime you need a good cut, just stop by", which i havent but a nice gesture....RIP derek, thanks for the experience of meeting and photographing on to my shoot with James Harrison of the steelers, out on newstands now, also for mens journal....this shoot and story is BLOWING UP HUGE right now...and it wasnt a surprise to me as i read the story on the plane to pittsburgh last mont....i instantly knew as i read him say "if roger goodell was on fire i wouldnt piss on him to put it out, thats how much i hate him." Roger Goodell being the boss, the NFL commish...James was fined a ton last year for hard hits... with all the new rules out now to lower injury and brain injuries specifically, the NFL (no fun league), has basically been trying to reign in guys like james who's life passion is to run full speed into guys and hit them as hard as he can. Its awesome to watch....not sure how they can really enforce it as the nature of football is violent....its like when i hear about people or countries complaining during a war that the other side isnt fighting there should be rules for how you kill people...just absurd...we as a country tend to call them terrorists...gee, thats exactly what england called the colonists back in the 1700's.."those guys arent fighting fair! they're hiding behind trees and shooting and not standing in a line in a field!" duh...dont get me started.... anyway it was an assignment i was a little bit tepid to accept, as it was a reshoot...yes, the dreaded reshoot...not mine though...MJ had sent another photog there the week before to shoot him (note to mj, next time hire yours truly first), and lets just say he didnt come back with pictures the editors were in love with. and in true dont jinx it anymore, i didnt want to see the pictures he took, or even know who took them, too much bad juju....dont ask dont tell.....i told my assistant johnny that this was a classic "sucker" job...going back to photogrpah a professional athlete (notorious "are we done yet" guys), and one as big and angry as james, who had already dedicated alot of time to the other photoshoot...and hes thinking "wtf, cant you mo fos do it right the first time?" But he agreed to let another photog come back, and michelle thought of our pre pro meeting, she finishes with "oh yea nathaniel, we also hear he has a bunch of guns, can you get him to hold one?" great. thanks for making me almost throw up there in your office michelle....of course i said "yep no problem, i can pretty much gaurantee i can get him to hold guns." and in truth i really believed it...i've been doing this so long now, i know how to make stuff like that happen. No secret really, you just dont ask, you tell. i can tell pretty much anyone to do anything, although i do get a no occasionally..I didnt ask james if he minded holding a gun or two, i TOLD him i needed him to hold a gun... So it really wasnt that hard like everyone at MJ thought it would be. I just didnt give him a choice, although he could have said no or looked at me like i was insane, but he was fine with it. And So the photographs came out awesome...once again, the big mean guy couldnt have been nicer or more chill...the magazine FREAKED when they saw the shoot (i knew they would), and the story looks awesome, but i feel bad for james as hes getting hammered in the press for those few sentences out of hundreds that people are latching on to...he did have a some great points favorite was about goodell himself....whats a white rich dude from new york (goodell) whos never played a down of pro football or even college football running the league for?? He has no perspective of what a player needs and wants. good point james....Another point...he says theres an unwritten policy amongst nfl players to hit high on purpose and not tackle below the waist, cause you can keep playing if you get your bell rung a little by a hard hit, but tear an ACL or achilles, and your career and earning potential are OVER. makes i think in the broader sense of the story, James will be fine as he has valid points and reason to be so mad. Now lets hope these knuckleheads end this lockout soon, cause fall aint fall without football..... video video


Anonymous said...

awesome pics, awesomer post.


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