Friday, July 10, 2020

1992 Ducati 998R

I was contacted to shoot a pretty rare Ducati motorcycle. Although this one is from 1992 it only has 2 miles on the odometer. I found 2 identical 998's in a garage in southern NY. We brought the low mileage one out onto a gravel driveway next to the garage. We were fortunate because the day had been rainy so I had a nice broad gray sky as a light source.
Here is the retouched bike outside on the gravel. For resale, this is probably the one they'll use. For fun I stripped the bike out and put it on a black background with a glow. It's what I do and I wouldn't do it if it were not tons of fun.
 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

My very first photo job in NYC



I opened my studio in 1979 after 4 years of assisting. I got married that same year and it was a good thing because my (20 year old) wife got me my first great client. She was working for a gift shop in Brooklyn (where we lived) when a coworker asked her "what does your husband do for a living dear?" Barb answered " my husband is just starting out as a commercial photographer." The coworker said "that's great! My husband owns an advertising agency! Your husband should call Vito." So Catelano & Gornick became my first client. I shot a lot for them. We did great work together. One of their clients was C&C cola. In 1980 DDB (Doyle Dane Bernbach) bought the agency to get C&C cola. So after only one year I was shooting for one of the largest advertising agencies in NYC. We did work for Lord Calvert and Ore-Ida and of course, C&C cola. I've had a couple of reps in my over 41 years of shooting but my wife got me my first and best client!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Peanut M&Ms

All through the late 70's I carried my own book. I made the calls and I booked the appointments and rain or snow I would bring my portfolio to art directors in NYC agencies. The reason for the image above is that every time I would head out, I would buy a small package of peanut M&Ms. I knew that if I could suck the candy coating off before crunching down I was "chill". However, if I just started eating the candy whole, I would know that I was not relaxed enough to be a good salesman. I would breathe slowly, calm down and as soon as I could just suck the candy coating off before chomping on the peanut, I knew I was ready to sell.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

How to be a Grinch


I was doing a shoot for Milkbone in California. There was a client, an art director and Gracie's (Max's) trainer but they were all women. We had never thought that we might need a male model to be the "Grinch". That's how I became it. I shot Gracie in various poses first and then, using the same light I slid on the net gloves with the long fingers and one of Jim Carrey's Grinch bathrobes, sat on a chair and leaned in. The trainer who had just completed the Grinch movie was kind enough to brush out the extra long fingers. My client was the one who actually pushed the camera button and took the pictures. What fun!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Two Cameras

I have been a Nikon shooter for a long time now. The F on the left was my first real pro camera and the one on the right is my current shooter. I hear every once in a while about the demise of Nikon. I simply don't believe it. The F comes from 1971, the D850 comes from 1 year ago. Still, I can swap lenses on the cameras. The F has a 1968 55mm Micro Nikkor that I shoot with regularly with on the D850. The D850 has an 80's 28mm 2.8 that fits on either camera. As a back up I have my older D700. It too takes all of my Nikon lenses. I have 5 older prime Nikon lenses and 2 more modern zooms. I wouldn't have 7 lenses if I couldn't still use all of the lenses I have bought over my over 40 years as a commercial photographer. Thank you Nikon. I love a heavy camera and the D850 with the attached extra grip certainly is. I am a studio shooter and I love having a camera that's a defensive weapon. I won't list all the great things about this camera but the ability to choose from 3 different raw sizes is pure genius. Thanks Nikon. You have been nothing but good for me since 1971.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Kelby Worlwide Photo Walk 2019


Nobody signed up for my Photo Walk 2 years ago. I didn't do one last year but I tried again this year. The place was Warner Brother's now defunct Jungle Habitat in New Jersey. This time 7 people signed up and 4 actually showed up. I had a great time as did the others. 
 This is the amphitheater at least it was back in the 70's. You can still see the benches but over the last 40-50 years, trees have grown up all around. The rest was all dilapidated cages, buildings and tunnels. The day was beautiful, the participants were great and a good time was had by all. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Poor, poor Abaco


Mark and I were assistants for Denny Tilman way back in the mid-70's. The location was Abaco Bahamas. My job was to be in the water keeping the boat steady and helping the models get onto the plexiglass table so it looked like they were walking on the water. I recall diving off the boat into a school of barracuda. I got back in the boat quickly. The truth is: Mark and I spent the days helping Denny and the night drinking way too much. I even drove a golf cart into a swimming pool. I loved being an assistant. I loaded film, built sets, printed in non ventilated darkrooms. Mark and I have way too many stories from those days. I have a BS degree in commercial photography but I really learned my craft as an assistant for major photographers in NYC.