What do House of Cards, Whale Wars, Michael Jackson’s Beat It, the Walking Dead, Parks and Recreation, Wedding Crashers, and Sex in the City 2 all have in common?
I’ve photographed members of their casts and crews!
Being a photographer is reason enough to be somewhere special and meet interesting people. If you shoot production stills long enough, you’re bound to get a shot of someone who makes it big, right?
Below are some of the most famous/ interesting/ accomplished/ noteworthy people I’ve ever met while shooting production stills!
I took this photo circa 2002 during a short student film called Anathema. And while the movie didn’t get too far, much of the cast/crew later found awesome jobs in media. I’m in the middle, taking this cross-processed photo in a mirror, getting suited up as a masked extra.
On the right is the ever spunky, ever alluring Rachel Pearl who has had a hand in just about every form of media imaginable but I’ll always admire her most for her seductive photo essay in SL Magazine; A Love Affair with a Slick City.
Jason Levy is the man who is about to take this actress’s nose off with the clapboard. Today he’s a quiet graphics technician with television empire Discovery Communications.
Patrick and I became close pals during filming and his wife Becky is a local theatre starlet who even introduced me to my wife! But more on that in a moment!
Craig Pearlman was a cast member in another student production that I photographed, Trench De Vie. Trenche won a few local awards and Craig went on to act in several episodes of Parks and Recreation aswell as Homeland. Massive Claire Danes fan here, wow!
Bob Giraldi directed Erickson Living’s 2008 Open for Optimists TV ad campaign. Giraldi’s career is extensive. He even won NYF’s Living Legend award in 2011, but he is best known for directing Michael Jackson’s music video, Beat It. On set, Bob was friendly and talkative yet very focused and detail oriented.
Then there’s Ian Axilrod, all around good guy and another film enthusiast. Ian wrapped the final season of House of Cards last year but has worked all over the Baltimore Washington metropolitan area. He spent some time in NYC to work on Netflix’s Daredevil. Awesome series!
Baltimore’s most prolific production still photographer, Bill Gray was unavailable when Ian got married in 2010 so I was fortunate enough to snag up that gig! Thanks for giving a little guy a big break Bill!
This is Nick Huynh looking uncharacteristically serious on the Open for Optimists shoot. He was the film loader, keeping the Super 16 mags ready to burn! Nick shoots on vintage film cameras too. He immediately spotted my gear and we started talking. Nick left Good Ole B-More for NYC where he loaded film for Sex in the City 2 (I’m a bit of a closet SITC fan!) among numerous other movies!
Before Nick split town, he took this fun double exposure of Ian and I at dinner in Silver Spring, MD.
Here’s Mark Warpole pulling focus on a massive Angenieux 24-290mm Optimo lens. He was also assistant Camera Op for Wedding Crashers and a ton of other great TV shows and movies! I’m really digging The Eighties!
Jim Krut not only played the infamous Helicopter Zombie in George Romero’s 1978 horror classic Dawn of the Dead, he also starred in the Christopher Durang play, Sister Mary, that my friend Becky directed in 2009. Being a huge Romero fan, I was thrilled to do their production stills.
Then there was this exceptionally talented and cute young local actress on stage with Jim.
Before rehearsal got started, this cute actress looked down at my Nikon’s and rolls of Kodak TMax P3200, and said “nice cameras!”
This girl turned out to be a lot of fun and I followed her around on other sets where she was acting.
We went out to eat often and the conversation was always lively. She was a beautiful subject too!
That cute young actress said “yes” to me some years later and we didn’t become movie or TV stars but we did become Martyr & Lee Photography!
As I look back at all these images and think about the times they were taken and their new context today, it helps me remember how every gig can lead to so much more than one could imagine! Where will your next shoot take you?
Thanks for reading and happy shooting!