A Moment in Time, with Shari Belafonte
You're listening to the beach. Photography podcast for over forty years being H has been the professional source photography video audio and more for your favor gear. News and reviews visited H. dot com or download the beach up to your iphone or android device. Now here's your host Alan White strings and welcome to the beach photography podcast today. We are lucky to welcome to our studio actress. Model Singer and photographer Sherry Belafonte. And not necessarily in that order point. Thank you. We're GONNA WE'RE GONNA WE'RE GONNA get into all of that stuff. Sherry is currently story in the new. Tv show the morning show and to any fan of fashion photography. She's well known well. Recognised her face has been on the cover of Vogue. Mademoiselle jet Glamour and God knows how many other magazines and more times than we can count. It's like you you get three hundred. You could hurt yourself carrying your list with you. Knees your knees and and not too. Many people could say that they are very first vogue cover vote. I mean. Obviously you can't say and not. Many people can say that their first vogue cover shot was taken but none other than Richard Avid. I know. That's pretty impressive. Very imprinting radio from there. Oh wow well. Cherries are well rounded artist. She's also released several albums which is not surprising given that her dad is Harry Belafonte and we were talking earlier before the show that his music played my uncle's house across the street from me all the time. And I'm very familiar with it today. We're GONNA be talking sheriff about photography. So let's get into it Sherry. Welcome to our show. It's so great having Jose here so you have grown up around cameras now as a little kid all my life cameras aimed at you most again. Your Dad was Trenton Center. He was big deal. Back in the fifties sixties seventies. He broke down a lot of walls. Again everybody's familiar with his music and his acting and everything else. So you're smiling laughing about so. I was very hyperactive. Attention deficit as a child. I still lamb a little curtail with certain things now making native American blood you know wearing a bright orange camp right now you WanNa talk about it. Yeah Orange there you go. There's fast on. Go ahead I'm sorry. My Grandmother gave me my first Brownie camera. Now that's how far back I with the fan flash that you put the light bulb shit so I had that one. I was four years old. How many megapixel was and you would get this little tiny roll of film that you would put inside that Yummy and That was my first foray into being behind the camera and then instamatic semantic when I was I think I had a funny little polaroid camera that we had them all And my first legitimate camera was a pentax when I was eleven years old. Okay I was in boarding school by Matic or h three the it was. You know I can't remember I just. It was a thirty five millimeter Pentax Camera. That was dad's I know. Dad had a SPA top. Any passed it down to me so my entire high school was spent in the dark room. I smell like smoke. That was really attractive. Smell coming out of the yellow fingernails sitting in the dark. You Know Rolling and Rolling Rolling Rolling and then you know praying that you could put it in the CAN. It would come out and it wasn't all crumpled and you know so. Yeah I spent a good part of my earlier years behind the camera. And then of course like you said being Harry's daughter you know when we when he was on tour somewhere and there's Paparazzi or people taking pictures of us all the time and then Harry took pictures of us all the time that we never saw and it was the biggest joke because he was he always got get over there. Get OVER THERE. Get over there. Stop Stop Standards There. Hundreds and hundreds of pictures that were taken by. Harry and we've never seen a single one single. And why do you think that's the case? He just too busy to Kinda know if he ever developed and I don't know if there was even filmed the camera I think he had these Lycos and he just you know he just kept shooting once in a while. We saw him because he would. When he was a touring he would have these The program with this and it was always the big color program that would come with new. Buy A ticket and there would be pictures of us you know in there and we go to dad. Shoot that picture around. The house was photography kind of a respected medium. Was it an art to be an art. He did have a darkroom which he never went into. He just had it in the back next his recording studio but he did use a recording studio. Did use the recording. But Yeah we always have been shutterbugs. I think the whole definitely me more so than I think my siblings but Harry was definitely behind the camera. He was into like us us a very like a like like like scandal. And what about the Paparazzi and stuff? Maybe it wasn't. I can't even say that it wasn't like it is now because Paparazzi but was it A pain in the bud. Was it something that you guys so I was so used to? You know because what happened is my hair Harry. In Marguerite. My mom was marguerite. She passed away a few years go but they divorced. When I was very young actually separated woman was pregnant with me so there was always that kind of people trying to take pictures of that that was going on but there was a little more of a sense of decency for lack of better words with authorizing I mean. Now it's like Oh goes the there were lines. That were not crossed back then. I mean chances and stuff like that and they they definitely probably got onto your skin right probably worse today and usually think it was more of a magazine would come in. Ebony magazine would come in and say you know. Can we shoot you at home or and you know there was a story that was behind it and maybe the attorneys would go yet. It's good idea. Let's let's push that you know. Yeah we've always been around cameras for yourself. It's often family. What kind of things interested you would sort of you know? In the days I was in boarding school in Massachusetts so I I've always been a fan of black and white. I never learned how to process color and of course slides for the first things. You sort of learned. I never learned how to process but I was always into the dynamic of black and white so with the snow in Massachusetts. There was always the lights and shadows and you can stream you know falling through the ice no save. The camera saved the camera. Shot landscapes mostly landscapes. And then I shot everything and then as I got older and could start a fording stuff. I actually stopped shooting for a while and then when Sam. I got married thirty five years ago. Sam gave me my first Yoeskamnoer. I had by then already onto Canon cameras. But you know hey a one and the that great but then Sam gave me my first Kammer after maybe not shooting for ten years and we went on our honeymoon to Italy and I just shot like crazy like bags and bags film was carrying at the time. Kodak made what was called recording fill in the recording. Four seventy five four and as soon as you develop it would turn into a corkscrew that you can never hold flat that I didn't know because by then I wasn't processing okay but Three hundred you could you. Could you could set the The whatever you wanted I mean you couldn't with any film but this was if you decided to shoot at or if you wanted to shoot one hundred thirty two hundred or sixty four hundred. Just remember what you shot that at and you'd process it like if I shot four hundred three sixty I process it at four hundred by shoot at three sixty and I mean the detail was. It's crazy it's like mega pixels eight thousand and I just fell in love with that and then when Kodak stopped making it because they said well you know nobody's buying it because it was twelve dollars a roll and I know buying it. No please keep making and then shortly after you know film just kind of went by the wayside and now it's coming back. Is it coming back to us? Sales were up twenty percent last year. So you now actually have to try and find a film camera. I still actually have a rebel. Okay okay isn't it rebel? Originally rebels were killed. What was called the digital rebel? No megapixel but I did have for the Canon thirty and I was started shooting movies of Friends of mine. Who were directors said? Would you shoot stills movie and I remember get going into get a sound blimp made for my digital camera and the guys in you and Steven Spielberg's guy or the only people that have blimps for you. These eight thirty eight sixty. Whatever I add albertson blimp. Right Jacobsen Jacobsen recently closed down. There's no need for any other. No ex- exactly. I've got this this whole box downstairs in the garage is because like don't need the blimp. Next time lenses by the I worked on a movie as recently as Twenty fifteen and with a digital camera and they recorded a blimp ahead to go rent one. I mean even even that little clique. If you're onset now we have an issue thousand frames so that one was especially digital you shoot so fast. The first movie I did shoot I had asked me me. Leaders a friend of mine and she also is the executive producer and director of the morning. Show but at the time going back. You know fifteen twenty years. Whenever it was that I was shooting this I said to her. You know this is the first time shooting for a movie. What she's just keeps shooting shoot. Shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot so I did. I shot eight thousand seven hundred and seventy eight frames and thought okay. You know. I'm their mom. Put them all and give them. And then oh no we just need your best hundred. It took me like three weeks to go through every single one of those because I really looked like I was shooting movie. Everything was so slightly different. They know what would you take away from that experience? Really get an editor back to that five role mentality you know. They'll have a budget for three to five roles. And that's what you did shooting digital change anything when you when you shoot because obviously it did change a lot for a lot of people in this idea of shooting maybe too much or a lot or just the freedom they can give you. Some really changed a lot of people's now you know everything is it cyclical now. I've barely picked up my camera now. Also have a Sony seven hours and shooting with my Samsung Galaxy's the galaxy the first galaxy thing. I had a four note for one of the earlier. Ones the best pictures I've ever seen. I went on my God. Look at these pictures that I'm getting on my phone and now I have a lot of my family's mostly apple. Nothing you know not against apple but galaxies have much better pictures you know the Samsung just really has the better technology shooting with your phone and I know friends of mine even say your pictures are so much better than mine. Why is that slow data Samsung if Samsung only made and take get another phone? Get Your Samsung Stolz. But I still like I still like the weight of having a camera and shooting the cameras a different different animal. But now you know. There's a difference for photographers. I never was would call professional photography gallery shows and stuff but I'm not like Greg Gorman. Who was a friend of mine? I didn't shoot and I'm not making money like that as a photographer. And right now so many you can take so many pictures. I mean anybody can get good picture with their phone. You know you can. It's easier to get good pictures now than it used to be. You know you'd have to have a professional photographer do that. Well now I you know people take headshots their phones movies with your eyes. You can do anything. Us forces us to kind of rethink what I should be taking pictures of. And how many pictures should be taking reassessed kind of the nature of it and that's happening. I think you know this return to film. We're seeing people kind of wanting to slow back down a little bit trying to figure out what what's the basis of it. That's really what it is. It's it's a medium. It's like if you're an oil painter if you're into acrylics or if you're doing you know pencil drawings if you're into sculpture it's a it's all worthy it's just a matter of what your taste isn't what it is that you're shooting at that moment. What's your favorite subject to shoot? When you just say I'm assuming you at times and correct me. Do just take a camera. Go out every once in a while. I have a camera all the time. Well Walk I was walking back from the last night because I live on When I'm here has live at my friend's house on eightieth and Central Park West and I walked all the way back and then suddenly it's again. It's that black and white light looking. How many Johnson who emailing images go. And here's another thing. What your subject. It's a it's like what's ever in front of me at the time just catches my this morning every time you got to get a cup of coffee. Sit Down Jack in the box this morning video away. Here's a music video. I was shocked. Oh here's a short movie I did. The connectivity of the phone has changed anything about your in the sense of sharing more immediate. Because you can like whip up your phone and get something. I mean I have salmon. I have seven dogs so at one point my phone had nine thousand pictures of the dogs. You know dogs doing now. I check us out on me back to love. God Dog's gotTa Love Him so we talk a little bit about the the modeling career because I love to get some. I don't know some some insight interested in with the idea. Yeah no but I mean you you sit for how many of major magazines and I mean. What was your interaction with the time with the photographers? Were you talking learning or was just okay. I'm here to do my job as as a model and I actually. The way I got discovered was I was at a took. My camera down in front of mine was in a movie with Tony Danza. I think he's Gone Hollywood nights going back in one thousand nine hundred eighty some young. She said bring your camera. Maybe we can. You can get some pictures of you know the celebrities and so I came down and it was happened to be a night that it a big party scene so the makeup artist thought that I was part of the background and she said you know coming into the trailer and get makeup line when what no. No no no no. I'm just here to find my friend. So she said you should be modeling. And don't be selling and you know you can make a lot of money doing that and then you talked to meets a friend of mine who was also at Carnegie Mellon 'cause we went to Carnegie Mellon together and he was a photography a lighting. We're all in lighting and production. Because I wasn't enacting I was in production and so he just shot a couple of pictures of me. You sort of I mean I've been around the business all my life. I understood headshots a complete beast that I didn't know anything about so. He shot a couple of pictures. I sent it to ten agents in Nina Blanchard. Who at the time was the leading modeling agent and in what in Los Angeles? She got my picture and she called me in and I'll never forget because it was long newsroom. She was at the back of the room and she could see everybody all her little beano. Bees were sitting around buzzing and on the phone book and talent and she looks up and she had this bright red hair and kind of looked up over her glasses and saw me sitting way over in the corner and she knows she nods. The girl is bringing rain was up. I get up and walk across obviously. Didn't get any taller. Only five four set out honey and At the time I was married to Bob Harper. So I just wrote Sherry Harper. I didn't say golfing so she goes. You're not tall. You're not young. I was twenty four or twenty three And I wasn't Sagger after I wasn't in the Union. So you're not sagging. After what the Hell am I gonNA do with you? Just put your you gotta look. Let me let me see what we can. Do you know who was a guy. So she said. Where's your portfolio? When I went my what this one oh God so. She set me up with the photographer and it was the first time that I was getting makeup. Done make up and it was two and a half hours getting makeup done and I remember thinking. I'm this ugly. Who TAKES TWO HOURS MAY GO? Why am I even so after looking in the mirror to see what he's doing and he's she's doing the makeup and she's a makeup and filing takes the first Roy because back? Then we took polaroid get the lighting right and I look at the Polaroid Damn Grows. Who IS DEAD? So he took a bunch of pictures. 'cause I had different. She had different. Water was a husband and wife team so they put together a portfolio for me in one day and I took it back to Nina. There's like seven or eight shots and she's right now you're ready to go out and then that was it and you know from then on. I would go. My first commercial audition was really fun because again I didn't have my union card was one by the name of A trudy booth and Treaty booth casts probably seventy five percent of the national spots in California at the time and I went in and it was a cattle call. Three hundred people there taken. Polaroid's are you getting that line. You get in that line so I went into a room with ten other people a Sitcom 'cause I went in. I had no idea how it was going to go down. So they lined everybody up and I'm standing at the end of the line kind of looking down the line. Say All right well. Let me see what they do. And I'll just copy what they do and guy has a video camera. Does all right slate your name and tell me a little bit about yourself. Hi I'm John Smith. I'm nineteen and I like surfing. I like skiing but I really love roller skating. I've been roller. Skating was too and I'm with whoever the agency and a high means. I'm Mary Jane. I'm twenty one. You know I've been roller skating. Since I was twelve Blah Blah Blah Blah. Everyone and by the time it got to me what Shit. They're all skaters comes to me. Hi I'm Sherry Harbor. I'm with Nina Blanchard. And the guy goes. Yeah I like sports. Okay and have you been skating? I've never skated my life. And every one of the nine heads snapped to attention to look down at me. Oh this is humiliating so I left and back then. We didn't have cell phones. I left my car was crying in the Gar- going. This is awful dot home and need. There's an answering my answering machine. You got a call back you know. Go to the sentence they park and get your roller skating. Wait call her and I said I don't Roller Skate. Well went a pair. And you know. Go to the Saint Vincent de Bark God's rent a bear and I saw. I happen to see a pair of rollers. It was like a shot. Because we're back. That was back in those disco roller skating days. So there is a store that I had passed and I went in and borrow Berra's gays. Yeah you can get you know. Sure Byrom I go to the Saint Vincent. He parked put them on. Of course. Everybody's dancing around in circles and doing the whole thing and I fall flat on my ass at like constantly and again. It's just the most humiliating thing. And you know I'd go back on crime and drop the skates off. Get to the home machine. You book the commercial you have to be at Santa Monica Pier tomorrow morning at five. Am and I went what this makes no sense. Get your skates but I go back to the store and I buy the skates. Oh you got the commercial. I went apparently so go down. Sure enough I look at the contracts because I'm not cigarette and looking for contract and it's and I'm looking through it going you know it's a stunt skater and I went. Whoa you are stunned. So what happened was I called the productive. Pa and I said you've got to get director here because you guys made a mistake a huge mistake and I want whoever it was you think I was make. Sure they booked the commercial on the Director. Comey is no no. You were so bad and we have to have somebody. That's bad boyfriends going. To help you learn how to escape. Alrighty then and that's sad card and you're still using the hopper right so they didn't they were were they kind of clueless as to who was no by that time. No no that's right. I was still Sherry Harper. They didn't know Nina blanchard found out about. I was with her nine months before she found out because when I went in at one day the book one of the bookers said. Are you? Harry's Kidding Yeah. It was like wow okay and didn't say anything and you know like a weekly or told me and Jerry get in here. Oh what do they do? You really did get in on your own merits. You really did well. Yeah which is sort of look at this face about. I mean I'm sure however it's still it's gotta be satisfied to know that you know what yeah. I did know toys about it. I got a lot of doors I could open up just by smiling and looking the right way but this is you'd be surprised because what happens is because Nina said put your name back in and I wasn't working like daily. I'm probably had done two commercials. You know like a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial or something or McDonald's commercial did something but when Nina said put your name back in and I went but she said no no. She's used that name. You've got to use that name so I did. Add the name Becan but what happens. There's the people in the entertainment industry. Really scrutinize you and they. They don't want to do well. They only do not want you to do well so it becomes tougher. You really do have to buck up because they want you to fail. That's any creative endeavor. I believe that's part of the competition thing but yeah it's definitely they. WanNa see you flopped. Because you're not getting in on his coattails you gotta earn it yourself right. Yeah that's pretty interesting and did you take to the whole kind of world of being in front of the camera pretty easily. Did you used to it? You know certainly going up into seeing dad being in front of the camera all the time. He's being stared at essentially. Yeah Yeah but muddling is different than just being stared at. I mean you have to you have to work. You have to know your looks. You have to work with the photographers. All these things are not people. Think it's easy but it's not. It's not easy because you're shooting shooting fur coats in the summertime because of the cyclical time that they're gonNA print. You do in bathing suits in the wintertime. So your and you know you're flying you're going and it's not just being pretty you know. Sometimes you're in these very awkward positions for a long time your arms falling asleep defeated falling asleep. I mean it's obviously it's a little easier than being a Jackhammer you know guide it's out there but often you just a living prop mostly being mostly Europride. Yeah Yeah Yeah and you know if you're if you're five pounds overweight you're agents on your fat you know. Go lose the weight. He gives me the same wallets. Gives me all the time? Keep breaking I mean and then one point because I was never. I always loved food but I got the movie. It's called if you could see what I hear. This was the first feature that I was doing and Nina said to me in a nice where she said you know. The camera puts ten pounds on you. You may want to consider the that fact you know. Okay I get I get it so I said I'll just stop eating sugar. 'cause I love candy bars since I didn't lots of so I just stopped eating sugar for a while and I didn't have any mirrors in our house. We just had the the Cabinet Mirror in the bathroom. That was it and if we were going out I'd stand on the side of the top and so I went to candidates. Shoot this and it was the first time the Condo that I was renting had a big mirror in the bathroom and I went in and turned on. The shower took off my clothes and turnaround with. I looked so emaciated that one. Oh God and actually the producers that are you know they called. Nina's says she okay. She looks really skinny. You don't worry I'll fix that. Needs CANDY BARS. Ninety s them. Gani so I did. I started beefing right up again. Well you could have just jumped to get a bigger camera. Use that fourteen wins and you can see. That's not my is. That's not my problem now. I weigh more than Dad. Well while we're here can I ask? How is he doing because he's doing well and good? He's he's it's hard for him to get around physically mentally. He's still very much on top of an and the physicality he has to use a walker now so my mom's ninety seven so I kind of get happy about and so he'd rather not go out in public than to be seen with that. I can know a bit more about your interaction on the set and modeling in this whole idea. If you don't mind anyway just to Maybe understand what you might have. Picked up from the photographers. You work with and I don't know how to phrase the question on the net were were you getting into it more and more at that point in thinking all right. How can I expand my work are you? You know that that part of me is done for a bit now. Because interesting is that I. I was doing a commercial for four. I can't remember but John. Bauer John. Fowler who does film in of Fomin Times magazine he anyway he's Ari Lane these Arie Rip. Okay so he had just brought. It was the wasn't the area legs it was. It was ares for smaller camera that was shoulder mounted and while. I'M ON CAMERA. You know the whole time. Kinda as I'm reading the copies coming through on the on the other. Thank you So you know reading the copy and then they'd he'd stopped because he was shooting this whole thing with this camera. It was brand new for him too. So even said do you mind. We're GONNA do some background stuff with this camera while we're shooting and I went only if I get permission to learn how to use that camera. Okay and you know the crew was like. What did she say this like? I said I want you know. Let me go to Ari and give you a crash course on how to use that camera and he said you know ever do it. Of course I started calling up going can come. Now come now. Did you have a particular project in mind when you ask that question? I was just saying I WANNA do. I WanNa do this okay. I can't I must certify steady Cam operator figure right you know and had my brother steady cam and of course the whole thing the whole time arguing going you guys. Don't know how to make steady cams for women. The whole center of gravity is lower. We don't add up here. We have down here and they're going on. Yeah all right well when you want your stadium have designed the way you want to do. Some Neil say I never did that cause yeah no because after a while and I'm not going to be up in those big heavy cameras around you Most of the guys are. That's their job. And they rented out of they need to know we had a little panasonic eight two hundred or so the lighter cameras easing and it's easy enough to walk around with them for a while. I mean I would ever shooting music videos of a shooting like a couple of things like that and walking around with it I would not even think about how heavy was getting until you go to put it back up on the rack for a while. And you're going. Oh my God you know. What was I thinking? Thing is my arms are tired. My legs are tired but Yeah you know there's there's the mindset of being behind the camera. I think being in front of the camera gives you the wherewithal to be behind the camera and vice versa. On Yeah when I was studying production because I always had anticipated. I was going to be a director and production designer. When I got out of school I took acting classes primarily to understand what the actor I saw dad onset and everything but I sort of felt in my age bracket I needed to know what it was that the actor had to go through in order to have a sensibility of what it is that they need and how to accommodate Annika relate to them you know in using blue filters and red folders and what these filters are going to do and you know putting half filters in you know I would be on the sets and watch what they were doing and you know back in those days. That's when we were shooting film. Now you just do everything digitally so you sort of you know you manipulate everything in post but it always felt proper for me to do all of it to get a sense of where everybody is in the scheme of this crazy business And you know that way. It became a genome all trades. Master of nothing. But at least I had a sensibility and you know I can talk to people when they're first time directors. That's not the way you talk to talent. Not that talent. She Ain't GonNa respond that way you know he's GonNa respond that way or and vice versa. There's a video. I kept sending him things. There's a little video called Betty's treats and the girl that is the lead in. It was the first time she was directing so basically I became the director because I was her DP and I was brought in because the woman that was going to DP or in up getting a big she said Sherry enough with you do instills on the sad need. Dp Her movie so we ended up. I ended UP D. Being shot the entire thing in one day as a matter my music video. We did the same thing shot. One day you started seven in the morning when the midnight and there's a moment in Betty's treats where there was one shot and instead it's the money shot you always want to think of the money. Show this shot where they walk up to. What's supposed to be the mass over the fireplace and they're looking at a photo and I said we have to get that from behind so is walking up. It's behind the photo by find. The picture frames it. Everybody's looking to going. But that's a real you know mantle on the on the wall. What are you thinking? You know. We're GONNA figure this out as an and it's going to be the last shot of the day but I am. We're doing that. Shot the money shot of this little seven minute video so sure we've got everything and a good friend of mine. Was Illumination Dynamics. Aries lighting arm. He went to school together so when I called him and this can I borrow some lights for. This movie has no budget. And he's come over. Get whatever you needs headlines truck full of ten games and everything like friends friends from Carnegie Mellon. Let me just drop it in there. So at the last thing we got a block. Would I put the camera up? And I'm standing right up against the wall you know. Look at the little thing. Downs on looking at it. I'm flat up against the wall to get the shot and sure enough to me. It's like had made that movie going. What Shot Best Shot? That was curious about you. Spent a lot of time in front of a camera right okay. Having people directing what takeaways did you have when you start taking pictures of people for yourself when you're behind the camera? What kind of takeaways did you have? What things made an impression saying? I'm going to do this or I'm not going to do that. And you mentioned one about communicating. How to talk to communicating? It's also too. I've had to take not had to but you know people have said. Can you shoot headshots? And there's some people and they're not necessarily talent. There was a couple of attorneys and there was a couple of agents in there and they but they needed headshots. Because they're gonNA go in the trade. Something's coming up and it's trying to make that person feel comfortable and look as good as they can on camera. You know it's making sure it's the right angle you're shooting a little bit higher than somebody just emailed me. A friend of ours is e mail saying can you and Sam come over? I'm learning how to take head shots in. Here's some samples and she sent me some samples. I only great samples get a ladder. Texter bagger when these are really cute I said but really you need to be a little bit higher than your subjects seeing. Shoot down and get rid of the Double Chin that it You know make them get the fan for the girls got pretty hair because they want to see the winning blow wind blowing in their hair and they said you know it's and make sure that there's music that they like you know if you're into Frank Sinatra if you're into you know you know Call Cox some hip hop house music. They said you know you WanNa make that environment is comfortable for the person as possible. Because then they'll feel more relax and you know whatever you can do. You can fix it in photoshop or post and I do a lot of photoshop. That was the other thing you know. After Richard Avedon shot. Here's here's a perfect example. Richard Avedon at nervous as I always had a crush on Richard. We lived on that west side every once in a while I'd see him and he was acquaintances with dad and Julie and man. I wanted to be his girlfriend. Had nothing to do with you. Know being a model but He I think would happen. Because the first commercials I did As Nina's I didn't like I said I did either Burger King or McDonald's or one of those but to do the Calvin Klein commercials because they had just done Richard at just the season before done them with Brooke Shields so this season now. He was using five girls to carry on the Calvin Klein and the Calvin Klein. Commercials were the first ones that were being shot on. Videotape else was shot on film but he had that Crisp look and you had to go in. There was an interview to I was there. I think three days at his place with Do narves who's writing the commercials and it was Cathartic would use. You spilled your guts. He'd ask questions gene. There was crying. There was laughing. Whatever was and from that they extracted the commercials. So it was me. Martha Plumpton Andie macdowell was in those. Just there was a girl named Lauren Helm. That was in them. And I just remember thinking open. But you know Richard Avedon and again. Luckily I had my makeup done so I knew it does take two hours and then Richard Shoe shot with that big eight by ten camera and he would shoot eight frames at like the most eight usually. I think it was like five pictures and it was done. Golo shot was. It was like rapid fire. Thirty five millimeter. You know shooting and quickly handed another body and quickly clay. So you really do know that. Everybody's got their own set of their agenda. Working style could have it on. Actually take the pictures. When you're in front of him he would let me think about the standings. Is that we damn next camera. And I'm trying to think if he shot. My understanding is that holds the handout with no. He would shoot but he had an assistant. That would drop in the frame. Okay because I knew somebody who was working with him and I saw that one of the things you do is he. Would either stand was sitting next to the. Lens and he would talk to the subject and his assistant and we have a cable release and he just fired. Would you need cable release? And he and he would also sometimes tell people not shooting just checking the lights and just talk with you and the assistant with quietly changed the holders and he was just talking every once in a while pop exposure and they okay and you didn't even know that it's I remember him. Yeah like I said I had to remember. He had he had the release but but really it was five. I think it was once we went seven times meeting. Yeah but after a while you know. I mean I'd shot was village. Everybody else and everybody was shooting thirty. Five millimeters shooting a lot of frames. And she's the First Amendment the image five pitchers later or you're done you're going. Oh God what's that was I that again? Was I that bad? Only you're not gonNA like waste a little more film on me. Did your father did evidence remember. He did but it's the little shot data me four essence for essence magazine for article in essence. And the first time Richard sent me. He said flog wants to use this print. But I want to use this. This is the first vote cover that because I had five though covers. And he said vote wants to use this print. But I wanNA use this woman. He'd sent me a like Xerox copy of the and that was before they were retouched and again. This is the first time I'm going. What the W. T. F. You're using either. Jesus you can see everything and I said and I just said to him. Whatever you decide. I'm good with it going. Do I know of course rob car? I think it was rob cars. Somebody whoever he had to retouched. Because Greg used rob car but you know they had those hairline brushes and they would just every little nook and cranny was filled in by the Time magazine came our again Dan. That is not what I saw sent me. And maybe now with Evan on but in general and as your career grew. Did you interact with photographers. Did you work with them? As it were collaborate or always pretty comfortable for you know except for after the first couple of times and you get. The routine is it. Doesn't it didn't take me long to figure it out so I I know they're going to touch that. Oh well no you know. I know they're going to do that so I always been kind of at ease in front of the camera. Some photographers were a little. You know. Standoffish probably didn't even WANNA be there. That's what I got the impression of but by and large if you're having a good time and they're having a good time you know hopefully something comes out of it. I've also never been really that concerned about how I look and I never really thought of myself as pretty but to me it was. You know it's just what it was. And then when she did see was retouched adapt. Well I do look good. You don't want her number. It's me but I've never ever been concerned about that. That it's never been you know if I had to go out and something in Nina Blanchard on you gotta look good all right. Well look as good as I can possibly look kinda switch into that side of the camera in in the fashion sense or in some fashion. Did you yeah I? Did you know but it was always. I've always wanted to be behind the camera but I was making money in front of the camera. So you tend to lean towards where that paychecks from done as much behind the camera. I would've loved to have done. That's what I should say but now that I'm sixty five. I'm finding myself more and more behind the game. That's great. What about personal projects? I mean anything that That gets you the camera photographic. This is what I like doing when I'm just GONNA go. I love working in Photoshop. To so and what started for me was I started. I have the science fiction idea. This brain brainchild has been my head for thirty years and it was by taking odd pictures and sometimes they're manipulated. Sometimes they're not but they're all part of this book. This thing that I'm putting together called mythos stories and the whole and there's a whole story by the name thaw stories so it's mythos stories but I- trademark mythos mythos story and I started shooting shooting this movie the big empty. Which is Jon favreau movie? I was shooting stills for it and shooting out on the desert floor and they had a big Ten K. light like about a quarter of a mile behind us and that parched crackle doubt you know desert floors nighttime. It was freezing it. Was You know in the daytime. It was hot but at night and Salmon smartly told me because I was driving up to Baker. Which is you know a few hours out of La Right before you hit vegas shooting out of the desert and Sammons said. Take your winter coat you know. Take your down coats from Canada and Oh Yeah Okay. Good cold so it was standing out. It was the first very first frame. I shot with this white forty millimeter Lens. Gannon Lens And I held the camera down so low so you just see the outline of my body and it was in. My legs were stretched out and shot this picture in my late. You know. It's it's weird ass. Shadow zoomed leagues in this little tiny body and the moon was right like in the perfect spot. But then I took my My Four Hundred Lens and shot the moon got my my mono pod shot the moon and then put the two together so the moon looks much bigger on the picture but you know in my head. I'm going I didn't really manipulate it. I just used to different photos but this is how the pictures started out so that was one of the first photos of this and I talk. It's called Jack Lands on the Moon. So Jack is the scared the DJ A. K. Isn't the name of this character. That's she's a Cyber Messenger that has to do all these things. At one point. She has to take care of this kid. And it's all yeah and she ends up taking him to all these different planets so I would shoot these weird ass pictures and sometimes make them a little weirder a little stranger. I think I sent you a cop. One is called. Does this come in. This is three. I was in a in a dressing room at a place and my sister was standing in the dressing room and we were these slouch socks from the eighties. So she's standing there and it was just funny the way it was. You know all these ladies legs you just see below the thing and I just took one of her feet. I made a third foot. There's like these three legs. So it's all part of this weird. Ask Journey that this character does and I just had so much fun creating that over the I still haven't put the book together but I've got thousands of big go with this story and you know that to me was the it's it's you. Learn the thing. That picture is worth a thousand words. It's one of those things you hear. It was a kid and to me. It's true it's that that moment in time that makes you think and you're going my seen what I think I'm saying or there's even the moment in Ben Stiller's it's the Thurbers store movie that he did where. Sean Penn plays a photographer and name the move of Walter. Mitty ultimate right so you know. And he's waiting for that moment where the snow cats gonNA come out and you think you know we were waiting in. It's so rare that it happens and finally the snow cat comes out and he doesn't shoot the picture. You know like Walter. Mitty goes well. Why didn't you shoot depiction? Sometimes it just like the look in. Sometimes I'd just like to have that moment and it's your moment you know in my head. I remember. I've had so many of those going. God I wish I had my camera or widened. Take the picture where I have the Cameron. I didn't take the big German and you and you do have that moment where it's at special to you. I was flying from the United States to Germany and there was a. I opened up the windows nights. It was a night flight news at all across the polls and I remember lifting. Everybody's quiet. The plane is dark and I lift. I woke up and I lifted up the shades and there was a prison that went the entire horizon of the. You know the entire rise. I wasn't just like spot. It was all the way across and I went to the. Oh God. Where's my cameron? And I wanted to wake up everybody. This look at this and you and you just sit there and you go in awe and then you know you're flying and finally a drift away and you're going I just see that that was that moment for me. I wish I'd had a day. I'm photograph because I want to be there. You want to be the soon as I put a camera and I love photography as soon as I put a camera to my eyes. It's already s heart. Sounds like though that humor's in in kind of the base of a lot of what? Oh Yeah seems taking pictures of you know when people say. Can you picture a head shot of me? You know? I like making them. Look Pretty. And that's the other thing. People always a little concerned about headshots. And they're like I sometimes people like Overdo the retouching and I make a point of saying look. I do retouched pictures but I don't re- touch them to the point where you know. You look like you've had shot but I say you I do do some retouching because there's a big difference between looking at somebody. Three dimensional only because you're is always traveling. They're always moving. There's a moment see. You're never locked in that. In that one moment I said whereas when you're on in the two-dimensional form in your flattened out like that no matter how great your lenses you do WanNa touch up this a little bit because otherwise it's distracting and you don't look that harsh to demand in three dimensions as you do. We don't see every pore when we're just in conversation you don't see that stuff so you know I so I do retouched but you know I go but minimally and people go. Oh my God look I I well. I mean you didn't do anything we don't we don't call it anything retouching. There's a series. I was reading about called. GimMe Your goofiest. And ultimately that is going to be fundraiser. These are all these wonderful ideas. Because when you're a photographer and if you don't have an assignment you know these are the things you end up thinking all right. I'm going to do this. Make some book you know. There's always a coffee table book in your head or four or five of those and of course you know coffee table books really. Don't really sell that much so you really don't have anything of coffee with no one's ever explained that to coke or sprite has a table. Could it be fair but No I started again was. This friend was a comedian. She gave me this weird as look and I just shot the picture. We wept laughing going. Oh my God I said this is your new headshot. It was the joke. And you know you just like. I mean every time we would look at this big we would the tears would start running and I said I should do a book so I did a photo show which was called. GimMe Your goofiest and I got not just celebrities but people on the street I said. GimMe Your Gouveia's mayor before I leave. I'm going to get all of you guys were that. GimMe Your dumbest. Look I mean really. What's The dumbest stupidest funny goofy is look you can possibly do? We have no trouble with and I would shoot that picture and then this show. I think I had like sixty shots in the show and everybody went. That's you know it's kind of brilliant. I mean I'm sure lots of people have done but Johnny Depp gamy shots and there's there's quite a few celebrities that I said. Yeah here you go what do I care more? Billions this idea of owning it and you were speaking about upper artsy and that's a bit prior to today's Day and age where everything's out there and this idea privacy. We're not. We're we're dealing with a new idea privacy. Do you know privacy. You got a cell phone. You Lost Your Privacy. But do you you just kind of brush off bad photos of you in the end. I I. There's been so many I'm sixty five. Now there's plenty of bad photos and you just now like who cares. I've always had a sensibility of the pratfalls downfalls of being in this entertainment industry and I've never taken it personally every once in a while. You know if you don't get a party when one. Why didn't I act my aunt's offer that but then you know it's onto the next and then usually find out some years down the line. There's a reason why you say oh I could live with that. I find often times and I've been kicking the button. I'm saying why may not look like. Oh okay. That was actually good. Thank you God. Yes maybe one or two last questions. World gotTA MAKE SPAGHETTI SAUCE I for Harry at five. He lives here in the city. Actually that was one of my questions. All right then you only have one more you. Two are but Of all the photos of your father and you know there's so many obviously for work but civil rights you know marches. And He's been with. Everybody is anything that you know is on the wall at your house. What stands out. What's your favorite phone him? A great picture. And it's it's on the news all the time where he's laughing with Martin Luther King. There's a there's a famous. I don't even know what the photographer is. But you know every time around Martin. Luther King's birthday or Harry Birthday. Somehow that picture reemerges in the finds its way back into the into the press. And it's it was just one of those special moments that you kinda remember you know even if you were in the room at that time but knowing how friendly they were best friends a lot of people think well you know no no really they were best friends and the idea that your best friend is taken away so drastically like that but you have that moment that you know that thousand word moment. That just happened at that moment that somebody captured and the you know you can save that forever. You can save that forever. So that picture of him. I'm trying to think this you know we have a Lotta pictures. Show the whole and Harry's. Oh God really rang Allen Dan but now we have. There's you know. And then Goulash shot pictures like I said pictures of Dad and meet for Essence magazine. That was really pretty good we. We both had our makeup on their hairpieces and placing really pretty and going. Oh God yeah. That's kind of a special moment but no there's lots of good pictures and about yourself any folks there. Well there's a picture that Richard Shot Richard avalon shot and it was a VO covered. The actual is my favorite though cover. Where it's big smile and having these multi colored Pajama Pajamas on and what happened. Was We got that shot and earn? We're thinking oh great. He came over. This is I think maybe the the four third or fourth magazine so I I was comfortable with Richard Evelyn. I also had a crush on what it came over and he bit my cheek like when I thought he was coming for. You know like what's he doing getting close? Oh my God. This is great man came over that my cheek and I don't know if you shot. The picture of his assistant shot the big but he then sent that picture to me so I have that picture saying my husband's office I'll text. That didn't want to get to where he knows that moment. Mouth Wide Open data showing and he's like biting my cheek and it was like. That's that's one of those moments where you're going. Oh my God I have a crush like eating my face and cut face. I WANNA talk about. What's what's new. What's I might. Yeah well you know. I'm I'm getting ready. We're we're into a pre development because we're seeing if we can get funded but it's going to be Bob Marley's it was just Bob Marley seventy fifth birthday. I met Sadullah and Roe were two of his eight million children but they run the they were in the founded the Bob Marley estate and she wanted to do something exciting next year and she is pitched to a producer the idea of getting five people five or six people to shoot short movies. I think forty two minutes so it's there long but there. I think forty two minutes and under movies that are inspired by Bob's music. So the guy that's putting that together is a friend of mine. Said come in and pitch row and Sadullah your ideas which song be one. I've always wanted to shoot a series about people of Color. That were cowboys. Cowboys and cowgirls was called Gaba folks color and to me. It was supposed to be a series and it was a movie. It was in development at showtime. He's like Oh my God like thirty years. I wanted to do this but now suddenly I had the opportunity to shoot I. I want to buffalo soldier and he went. Oh great the one song that we don't have the right so sure enough. They said Yeah. I think we can get the rights of that coming in pitch and I went. I went all right and I had a harmonica learn how to play a buffalo through the night before on my mind really rough not a good version of it but And I said I WANNA do this but I wanna make it about Kathy Williams and I said who changed her name to William Kathy and was the only female buffalo soldier at the turn nine thousand nine hundred and when I pitched this idea to sell and I said you know the other thing is all the books that you've read about as house. He was so excited to be a soldier and she cut her. Aaron joined marched ten. Was You know all about it? I said you know that. That's just not true. I said she was contraband of war which meant she was a slave when they were freeing the slaves. They actually took a lot of the slaves to come work for them for the Union army's and so they had to do dishes and still wash clothing and my guess is that she probably ran away or killed a soldier and ended up putting on the uniform to hide. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it and just went. I think that's brilliant. Yeah let's do that if we can do that. So that's some now. Of course I went. What the hell am I going to shoot this? Now that I'm actually GonNa get this movie. Sometimes you get what you got but So yeah I'm also on Tyler Perry's sisters I forgot. That's that's something I just did six episodes of that where I play a ex marine sharpshooter with PTSD. One of the sisters as my daughter. And I smoked pot and ride a Harley and had blond dreads. Yep so where's the challenge? Show so can you hear It was very enlightening. it's interesting to hear your your your story your path and where you went. We didn't go if you are not subscribing to our podcast. All you have to do is head. On over to apple podcast Google podcast stitcher overcast or spotify and sign up. And you could always find this on the bean edge explorer website as well as the bean h photography podcast facebook group. My name is Alan Whites and on behalf of John Harrison Jason tables. Thank you so much for tuning in to D- Day.