A phone call from Business Jet Traveler is always welcomed. I know that I’ll be working with a heavyweight in the world of sports or business. This call was no different.
Jennifer English and I met up with Tony Robbins on the tarmac at the West Palm Beach airport in Florida. Tony is a big dude with a huge plane. It’s a Bombardier Global Express XRS to be exact. Tony and his team decided that conducting the interview on his newly remodeled corporate plane would be best. I sat in for the interview, making a few photos of Robbins’ facial expressions, body language and hand gestures.
I left the interview after 15 minutes to set up my profoto strobe gear. Earlier, The team at Atlantic Aviation and I had strategically positioned the aircraft away from the other planes, some belonging to Michael Jordan, Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg.
I walked back onto the airplane for the final minutes of the interview. It was great to listen as Tony talked about politics, entrepreneurship, growing up poor, charitable giving and much more. He’s usually talking to thousands of people in a crowd, but on that afternoon, I had a front row ticket to listen to one of the worlds greatest speakers… on his multi million dollar plane.
Most business types don’t like to have their photo made, but Tony showed great interest and patience while I worked the camera. The one conversation topic I can keep up with dealing with business moguls is golf. Tony talked about his game and some of the charity tournaments he plays in. I wrapped up the photography and he noticed that I didn’t make a photo showing the entire side of the plane. I said, “Well, let’s shoot one with you in it really quick!” He was happy to do so, and I was happy with the entire collection of photos.
Tony said his goodbyes to us on the tarmac as a lucky group of young entrepreneurs waited to meet him… maybe I’ll be photographing one of those people one day.
I got a call from Tony’s team after the article and photos ran in Business Jet Traveler magazine. So, if you see a photo of Tony at his private jet at Tony’s next speaking engagement, it might be mine.
Safe travels to Tony and his incredible team.
I love when my photos are displayed with great type, design and size! It was great to work with Tom Jackson at Core Golf Academy on photography for his website and marketing materials. And it was a pleasure to once again team up with designer Adrienne Sosbey.
Before this photo shoot, I had never photographed a golf academy. If I went to this academy full time instead of golfing in Maine 6 months out of the year growing up, I might be on the PGA Tour right now! Does it get any better than having Tiger Woods’ coach passing down his philosophies to your staff? I don’t thing so. Read more
WOW. A silly little photo shoot turned into something bigger than we all expected. Thanks to (in order) Paulina Gretzky (photo by Walter Iooss) and Big Joe Ellicott, Casey Bourque, Jesse Dunbar, my brother Jeff Cyr, Ninja Federico Celano, Ernie Fairles, neighbor Bill Canavan and Mike Wieland!
I’d like to think that Big Joe Ellicott and Bill Canavan are some of the nations top models right now. They’re being called by the biggest ad agencies, companies and modeling agencies in the world. You’ll most likely see them in upcoming advertising campaigns for pants, sports bras, Gillette razors and Adidas shoes.
Thanks for Golf Channel for producing this amazing video!
Thanks to Walter Iooss, my photography idol and legend who photographed Ms. Gretzky for the cover of Golf Digest. I’ve assisted Walter dozens of times throughout the years and appreciate all the lessons. Walter has photographed the top international models in the last 40 years… and I failed miserably to follow in his footsteps.
We’d like to thank all our families and people enjoying this ride with us on social media. It’s great hearing from so many people! It all started with you. Three of us in the photo are originally from Biddeford, Maine. If you haven’t checked out the southern Maine coast, you should!
We’ll be rooting for Dustin Johnson to win The Masters!!!
Cy Cyr is a commercial and editorial photographer based in Florida. Contact him for your next project.
Special thanks to Holly from MyFox Orlando, who put on THE sports bra and pants and struck a pose! Thanks HOLLY!!!!
FOX 35 News Orlando
Thanks to Carson Daly and the Today Show! http://www.today.com/id/54896097/displaymode/1283/for/facebookvideo/
Thanks to Diane McInerney at Inside Edition http://www.insideedition.com/entertainment/8087-golf-digest-cover-spawns-spoofs
Thanks to USA Today, one of the first to share the photo! http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/04/middle-aged-men-recreated-paulina-gretzkys-golf-digest-cover-and-the-results-are-hilarious/
Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach, Florida provided the backdrop for Golf Channel’s Academy show featuring Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. Filming took place on February 10th an 11th, 2014.
Before filming even started, it was cool to see the looks of the women participating in a cancer fundraiser at Gleneagles as Monty got on the microphone and wished them well and sent them off in their scramble.
Here is Colin’s official website.
I got the chance to make many portraits and action shots of Colin. In addition to filming segments on putting, short game and driving, he took part in a Ryder Cup interview that will be broadcast later this year.
The Golf Channel team busted out their 32 camera GoPro system. The results are here.
Colin entertained the crew for two days with his skills, British humor and personality. Be sure to check out the Colin Montgomerie specials on Golf Channel!
Click links at left to see other golfers I’ve photographed for Golf Channel, Yamaha, Mitsubishi and more.
Contact Cy to hire a photographer for your next portrait Nationwide. We photograph golf courses, staff and products.
The Merry Mex. SIX majors. Marine. Golf Hall of Fame. A rubber snake. Struck by lightning. 29 PGA tour wins. Yamaha Golf Car Lover!
We photographed Mr. Lee Trevino on December 15, 2013 at Reunion Golf Resort in Orlando for Yamaha. Even at 8am, this legend had our crew laughing. It didn’t hurt that we were also working with Adrienne Ferreira. Please, Google her.
We made pictures of Mr. Trevino for about 6 hours. We had multiple Profoto lighting setups and locations including 18th fairway, clubhouse, proshop, green screen and a private home. We were using the Yamaha fleet vehicle, personal, transportation and a refreshment car. Who the heck doesn’t like seeing that thing on the golf course!
It was also really interesting to hear Mr. Trevino work with a video crew for an hour. He spoke of his beloved Yamaha Golf Car he had for 22 years. It was unscripted and genuine. Yamaha probably doesn’t advise this, my Mr. Trevino said he never changed the oil, spark plugs or anything for that matter. You could tell he loved the product.
Yamaha is using the imagery on their website, advertising, brochures, collateral and more. Below is a website screenshot.
It was great seeing my work displayed at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. Yamaha used 8 large prints high in the corners of the booth, four more large inside high, and dozens more inside the booth. What’s really wild is that Donald Trump showed up in the booth during Mr. Trevino’s appearance!
Thank You YAMAHA!
Call us today to talk about your next photography project.
Last year while rebuilding a different website, I added “Political Photography” to our portrait categories. Upon launching the website, I was immediately called by a firm in Washington, DC about my services. But before I even worked the first one, the would be client referred me to another firm in DC. Because of the scheduling, I ended up working the referral first.
It was great to work with the candidates on their marketing strategy. I photographed young and old, nearby in Orlando, Deltona, Daytona, Palm Beach, Miami and far away in Pennsylvania. I photographed candidates ranging from state senators to legislators to commissioners. I recently found out that my personal win-loss record was really good!
The photo shoots consist of the candidates appearing with supporters. They’re usually engaged in conversation, listening and the center of attention. It’s my job to make them look good. Their hair, clothing and make up. I find nice pleasing backgrounds to don’t take away from the subject. Sometimes I’ll light them up with my Profoto 7B, or simply use a bounce card. I bring the same visual approach as when working with celebrities and business people.
I like to use the word “approachable” while working with politicians. Often, it works so well, that random people on the streets come up and ask what we’re doing. We recently were approached by a man opening a business nearby. “What are you guys taking pictures for?” Someone responded “this young lady is running for XYZ.” Well, he then wanted to be in some photos, was willing to sign a model release and we made it happen. That’s happens a lot.
Follow Cy Cyr on Instagram and Twitter at: cycyrdotcom
I photographed Henrik Stenson at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Florida on April 30, 2009. After we got a few photos on the 18th green, we headed back to the clubhouse. When I spotted a Tiger headcover on a golf bag, he gave me this pose.
Stenson couldn’t have been any nicer. He gave me plenty of time to make a portrait for The Times in London. Henrik grew up in Sweden.
Stenson won the Deutsche Bank on September 2, 2013 to take the FedEx point lead over Tiger Woods.
Contact Cy Cyr at firstname.lastname@example.org to license this photo.
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I got a call from a photo agency in California asking me to work with a beautiful Brazilian actress at a few Orlando locations in August 2013 for the Brazilian magazine Quem. The magazine had set up times and locations to meet up with Disney media relations cast members at the Magic Kingdom and at the Mall of Millennia.
I met Natallia Rodrigues at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek, just outside of Disney property. Quem writer Giulianna Campos was also there to lead the way, and provided great artistic direction. Since I knew that Portuguese was the primary language of Brazil, I also asked my friend Jason Crane to come along. Jason travels to Brazil for work as a real estate agent, and has picked up the language.
Two Disney shuttles escorted us to the Magic Kingdom, where Natallia spent some private time with Mickey Mouse! Next was a quick stop at Gaston’s Tavern for LeFou’s Brew, a frozen apple drink. We then rode a few rides, including Goofy’s Barnstormer Roller Coaster, Mad Tea Party and Dumbo. The Disney safety team had a special harness for me to wear, so my cameras wouldn’t go flying on any of the rides we went on.
We then traveled to the Mall of Millenia in Orlando, where Natallia shopped at Carmen Steffens for shoes and purses.
Natallia loved her visit, and even went back to Disney the following day… without me. :( She loves the photo app Instagram, and posted several photos during our day.
I had a great day with Natallia and wish her the best!
Follow Natallia on Instagram!
I got an email on April 4, 2013 to photograph John Galloway, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Hard Rock. I brought along my assistant Craig to the Hard Rock Vault, a warehouse in Orlando with an incredible amount of rock and roll history. Craig and I set up a Profoto 7B near a wall of guitars. Not just any guitars, but those belonging to rock Gods.
We were to create portraits for the cover and inside of Direct Marketing News magazine.
We noticed outfits, drums, paintings, guitars, toys, autographs, speakers, props, documents, cases and many other instruments from rock and roll’s greatest names such as The Who, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Poison, Eagles, Prince, Oasis, Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Roy Orbison and Pink Floyd. Artifacts make a stop in the vault before heading out to Hard Rock’s locations worldwide.
Craig and I spent an incredible two hours in the warehouse. It’s location will remain a secret as it’s not open to the public.
If you watch golf on TV, you know his voice. Dan Hicks is the host of Golf Channel on NBC.
I got a call to photograph Dan Hicks’ appearance on Golf Channel’s new show, “Greatest Golf Rounds.” Dan worked on a green screen at Leonard Chapman Studios in Orlando, Florida on Monday, March 18, 2013.
The photo above was before Dan left for the day. He was doing read throughs and voice overs for several hours, with studio lighting. When the crew opened the big bay door, I saw a perfect opportunity for a naturally lit portrait. Anytime you can make a portrait in this situation, do it.
Along with his work with Golf Channel, Hicks has worked many sports for NBC Sports, including many years of Olympic coverage.
I have also photographed Dan in the booth with sports broadcaster Johnny Miller.
I just read an article about families hiring professional photographers to go on vacation with them. How fun! Please add me into the mix of this exciting spin off of travel photography.
It makes perfect sense for any family to make this investment. A photographer’s job is to capture action and events as they happen and smiling faces enjoying family time together. Great photographers are also able to compose portraits at any given location under any lighting conditions. And just admit it, your previous vacation photos stink. It’s OK, there’s help on the way. You’re not in them, Timmy’s head is cut off, there’s limbs missing, the flash is so bright Jenny looks like an alien, red eye and a whole host of problems. Oh sure you got one good one from the 3000 you took, congratulations!
I can picture traveling with my canon cameras, underwater housing, apple computer and profoto lighting onto a private jet or yacht and working hard with a family that appreciates the talents of a professional photographer. I’d expect no set hours, a lot of fun, great scenery and being treated like family. I’d like to think I’d be a fly on the wall in great locations such as Caribbean, Europe, South America, Bora Bora, Alps or an African safari!
I’d treat your family vacation like I’d treat one of my assignments for Golf Channel, HGTV, Discovery Channel, Golf Magazine, or the many number of clients I’ve gained in my 17 years of photography.
I’ve already been in helicopters, planes, million dollar boats, celebrity homes, exclusive resorts and more. I’ve worked with Shaq, Bobby Flay, author James Patterson, Jimmie Johnson, Arnold Palmer, Michael Phelps, billionaires Sol Kerzner and Sam Zell, chef Robert Irvine and a whole list of pro golfers. I’d fit right in! Come on, take me! And yes, I have my passport. And yes, I’m used to non-disclosure agreements.
Contact Cy about your next family vacation!
I photographed Rickie Fowler in early December 2012 for the Golf Channel show “Playing Lessons” with host Holly Sonders. Fowler is a social media champion, keeping in touch with his 600K Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers.
Filming took place at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. Fowler and Sonders played a few golf holes at the private golf club. Members gathered around the clubhouse while they were walking down the 18th hole.
I brought along my Profoto 7B and Elinchrom Octobank. Fowler tweeted a photo of the Golf Channel crew after the film session, thanking everyone.
Fowler was kind enough to stick around for a few extra minutes after filming to pose for photos.
Check out the Golf Channel Gallery of my photos from this episode!
On a recent photography assignment with author James Patterson, I shared that I did some work with the Golf Channel. His next question was, “have you ever worked with Feherty?” I responded with, “many times.” “What’s he like off camera?” Well…..
The first time I photographed David Feherty was for his show open on green screen at an Orlando, Florida studio. Golf Channel promotions people needed enough footage for the season and I was there making photos for advertising, marketing, social media and more. Feherty worked the cameras and comedy for several hours that day. I have photos of him blasting his own face with silly string, riding a bike and with his pants down like he’s taking a shit. This would set the tone for all photo shoots.
The next shoot with Feherty was also for a show open. It shows Feherty in a “psychiatrists” office. Feherty explains to her that “Yes, I really do have a show on Golf Channel.” The location used was a mansion outside of Dallas, Texas.
Here are the three things I’ll always remember from this shoot. While talking with David by his matte black Chevy pick up, he shared how closely he works with US veterans on weapon assembly, time spent on gun ranges and charity events. He created an organization called “Troops First Foundation.” The second memory is that Golf Channel asked me to make some pictures of Feherty on his cell phone. We created a few photos, but when he was done, he simply gave me the finger. I thought it was damn funny, since I got what I needed. Next, while filming in the “psychiatrist office,” Feherty decided to once again, pull down his pants and moon the doctor.
I then got my first opportunity to photograph an actual taping of “Feherty.” His guest was Lee Westwood. The interview portion was recorded at a neighbors home. If you’ve seen the show, you know about this crazy backyard. You’ll also see that once again, while filming in Westwood’s home under construction, Feherty drops his pants and asks for a little privacy in the unfinished bathroom.
Well…. “Mr. Patterson, every time I’ve photographed him he drops his pants, he’s given me the finger, he loves the US, he’s funnier off camera, he loves his family, loves people, jokes about genitalia, and is pretty much the funniest fucker I’ve ever met.”
Restaurant Impossible: Hard ass. Jerk. Harsh. Abrasive.
Not the Robert Irvine I met…. I got a call to photograph celebrity chef Robert Irvine for a New York magazine. The Grand Bohemian hotel in Celebration, Florida would be the location for the photo shoot. The magazine asked for a portrait of Irvine and his beautiful bride Gail Kim. Irvine’s two daughters were also a part of the photo shoot. Irvine couldn’t have been any nicer. He’s a true pro in front of the camera. He made my photo shoot very fun and brought a lot of energy.
We created some photos in the kitchen of the Grand Bohemian, and then we went outside to the Bohemian’s balcony overlooking the water. The magazine story had to do with their recent marriage and relationship. They couldn’t have been any cuter together.
I lit the scene with a Profoto 7b and beauty dish. With all the highly reflective stainless steel in the kitchen, it’s best the keep your light source on the smaller side.
Irvine is the host of Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network.
I had a blast photographing Irvine and his family, and hope to visit his restaurants in the near future.
Follow Robert Irvine on Twitter.
Follow Gail Kim on Twitter.
Follow Cy Cyr on Twitter. He is an advertising and editorial photographer based in Florida.
“If you FANCY the portrait assignment with writer James Patterson, the gig is yours Cy.” That was the offer from my Sunday Times editor in London, England. “Since it’s Florida, we’d love to see some palm trees!”
I responded with “I’m available, and maybe Mr. Patterson has a guest house I can move into.”
I did my research to look for subject matter to talk about with Mr. Patterson. I don’t like to talk with my subject about what they’re best known for because they’re probably bombarded by those questions on a daily basis. After becoming a fan of his Facebook Fan Page, I saw that he recently had TWO holes in one. Bingo, golf is enough subject matter for me! I’ve played golf since the age of 10, and now do a lot of work with the Golf Channel.
I traveled down the Florida Turnpike a few days later on Monday, March 11th, 2013 with orlando videographer Craig Kotilinek. Our address revealed a gorgeous Palm Beach oceanfront mansion. A member from Mr. Patterson’s staff greeted us in the driveway, and showed us inside. We set up a Profoto 7B on a light stand, overlooking his front yard and the Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Patterson quickly came out of the kitchen and I introduced myself. “Hello Mr. Patterson, my name is Cy.” He responded with “Nice to meet you Cy, call me Jim.”
Golf was immediately the subject matter as I asked Jim about his recent hole in ones. His eyes lit up. He told us all about them, and the golf competition he enjoys with his wife Sue.
It was downright shocking to hear that Jim still uses a pad a paper to write. I asked him if we could use them as a prop for a photo, he said they were upstairs in his office. I didn’t want to trouble him, but then he invited Craig and I upstairs to his office. I was amazed to see the inner workings of his business life. There were dozens of manuscripts and screenplays in progress. Everything was neatly labeled, and claims his assistant cleaned up the place a few short hours ago. It was fun to discover a golf photo of Jim golfing in Thailand, surrounded by yaks.
Back downstairs, it was amazing to see a huge print of Micahel Phelps beating Serbia’s Milorad Cavic in the 100 meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics. The photo was taken with an underwater camera by famed Sports Illustrated photographer Heinz Kluetmeier. Patterson’s wife is a former All-American national swimmer.
I talked Jim into going outside to make the portrait above.
In the hour I worked with him, I can tell you that he loves his family, loves to work, has no plans to retire, loves golf and enjoys sharing stories. He’s a great guy, and I already look forward to working with him again down the road.
To read an interview with James Patterson in the New York Times, view this Jonathan Mahler article from January 2010.
Here’s a link to our Sunday Times article, written by Ali Hussain titled ” Fame and Fortune: I like a thrill but hedge my bets.”
It was a great situation for a photographer. All I had to do for this quick studio shoot was bring my cameras. The lights were already up in this rental studio and mostly set in place. I tweaked the Alien Bee’s for a few minutes before Scott showed up, and I had him out of there in 45 minutes.
I was happy when Scott came in with a lot of energy and excitement for this photo shoot. Middle Market Growth magazine used 5 of my photos to go along with a Q&A from Scott.
The interview took place at ChampionsGate, a golf resort in Orlando, Florida. Two adjoining rooms were set up with monitors, make up, cameras and lighting.
On camera with Damon Hack, Christina spoke about her successes, upbringing, family, style and golf. She also spoke of her depression, which she wrote about in her blog last year. Her good friend Michelle Wei also stopped by the set, and spoke about her relationship with Christina. It was cool to be in the room with two of the games superstars.
Off camera, Christina took an interest in my Canon 5DMarkIII camera, and said she loves photography.
On the way to the next location to hit golf balls, I asked Christina if she had a minute to pose for a quick photo. (Above) Hotel staff was setting up some “grass” covered chairs for an event later in the day, and I simply thought it looked cool.
After a few jokes on the way back to her vehicle, Christina was on her way. It was a great experience with one of golfs brightest stars.
Follow Christina Kim on Twitter and Instagram @THECHRISTINAKIM
Follow Cy Cyr on Twitter and on Instagram @sportsphotographer
Raymond Floyd won two majors before I was born. He won another two after I was born. He has 22 wins on the PGA Tour.
The Golf Channel filmed a “7 Nights at the Academy” special show at Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida featuring Raymond Floyd. Filming took place over two days on the range facility.
Golf Channel’s Martin Hall co-hosted the show. Win McMurry took a behind the scenes crew through the show, and even hosted a Q and A with Mr. Floyd.
My photos were used to promote the show online, in banner ads, and on the Golf Channel website.
Mr. Floyd was great to work with, as we had conversations about his children, New England states, fishing and hunting.
The first time I met Shaquille O’Neal was while assisting a photographer for Sports Illustrated many years ago. We rolled up to Shaq’s front door in the exclusive gated community of Islesworth in Orlando, Florida, and the big man himself answered the door. He was massive. Shaking his hand was like holding a box of tissues.
I had just watched the MTV Cribs episode that features his massive home featuring a basketball court, insanely deep swimming pool, lake home, cars and staff.
The last time I photographed Shaq was for the 2012 March Madness advertisements for Dove Men + Care. A production company filmed him on a green screen in his garage, and I was the set photographer. Shaq shared early life stories from growing up, and his time at LSU. The pictures I made that day ended up being displayed millions of times when people logged into their March Madness bracket choices.
After the green screen, Shaq took us to his three story closet. Yes, you read that correct. His closet is three stories. Above, Shaq exited the closet wearing his favorite outfit.
It was great to photograph the big man, and I hope to do it again soon.
I got a call to be the still photographer on the HGTV show “Million Dollar Rooms” hosted by Carter Oosterhouse in Geneva, Florida.
The Danville Bed and Breakfast in Geneva, Florida hosted the show and featured their airplane hangar, city, pub, runway, entertainment center, movie screen, planes, cars, photo booth and massive garage door. Here’s a video teaser of the show on Youtube.
The ladies at Danville were excited to learn that none other than Carter Oosterhouse would be hosting a show at their place. Sally Bush guided Oosterhouse across the properties many features. Property owner “Mayor” Dan Shaw took Oosterhouse for a ride in a Piper J3 and also fired assault rifles on the property.
Everyone had a great time on the shoot! Check out the show!
Best nickname is sports.
I photographed “Banana” George Blair for the first time when he was 90 years old in his Florida home. Banana George was born on January 22, 1915. He wore many hats, but to me will always be known as a barefoot waterskier.
Banana George and his wife JoAnne welcomed me into their home in 2005. I set up a yellow background in their yellow garage after they pulled out their yellow car. I had Mr. Blair put on a yellow suit, and he sat on a yellow chair. After the shoot, Mr. Blair showed me his yellow boat garage, which was storing his yellow boat. Waterski magazine published several photos from the shoot.
A few years later, I photographed Mr. Blair for Boating magazine. They were doing a story about crazy people in the boating industry. They featured Mr. Blair, well, because he was in his 90’s and still barefoot waterskiing! I had Mr. Blair sit on a yellow chair, overlooking his yellow boat, yellow boathouse and yellow wind sock on the lake. Since he was a barefooter, I had him take off his yellow shoes. He was wearing yellow pants, yellow shirt, yellow hat and yellow tinted glasses! He was also wearing a Mayor of Cypress Gardens button, yellow of course. I lit the scene with a Profoto 7B and softbox.
I asked Mr. Blair for an estimate on how many bananas he thinks he’s eaten in his life. He responded with 25,000.
That’s a lot of yellow.
I photographed Lee Westwood’s appearance on the Feherty Show in January, 2013. The interview took place in the Old Palm Golf community in Palm Beach Gardens. At the time of the interview, Westwood was listed as the seventh best golfer on the planet.
As you’ll see on the show, the interview location was quite spectacular. It’s a few houses down from Westwood’s new home. Westwood is a quiet family man. He spoke softly and brought out his English sense of humor often. He spoke of the near misses in tournaments, the wins and downward spiral Westwood was in from 2001 – 2003. The interview lasted about 3 hours, then Westwood gave a tour of the home he and his wife are building in the a few doors down. This was followed by giving Feherty a ride in Westwood’s two door Bentley coupe sports car to a horse stable 25 minutes away.
I was able to make portraits of Westwood in multiple locations, including the stables (stables) and with David Feherty.
I sincerely hope Westwood claims his first major of his career in 2013. I know I’ll be rooting for him!
Tune into the Golf Channel!
Here’s a gallery of some of the photos I took during filming.
Were you watching the 2012 Olympics too? After Michael Phelps won a record number of gold medals, a promo came on TV about him appearing on the next Hank Haney project on Golf Channel. A light bulb immediately went off. I wanted to photograph Michael Phelps’ golf efforts.
I could only assume that the footage had not been created yet, given Michael’s Olympic schedule. I texted my Golf Channel contact and offered my photography services for the show. They would need behind the scenes pictures, portraits, show openers, end pages, etc. My text was acknowledged.
I got a text a few weeks later while I was on the 17th green at Sawgrass in Jacksonville. “What are you doing the month of October, and do you have your passport?” I responded that “this sounds interesting, I have my passport, and what’s up?” She responded, “Phelps is going to Scotland, China and Vegas, more soon.”
I got pretty excited. When you’re a photographer, plans are created all the time. Throughout the years, I’ve learned not to share much information about exciting jobs because they change so much. Maybe they’re delayed or canceled entirely. Some of the common reasons are that the subject has changed plans, the client went with a different story or the budget. A good time to share info is after it actually happens!
I made it to one of those locations to photograph Michael, but didn’t need a passport. The video and stills for his show opener were done at TPC Las Vegas in late October. The golf course was in great shape, and the views were fantastic. Michael hit a bunch of golf balls on the range, chatted with the crew, hit some putts and delivered some lines for the show open. We spent 2 hours with the greatest Olympian of all time.
I lit Michael for this portrait above with a Profoto 7B and medium soft box. Michael was standing under a 10′ scrim to keep the sun off of him. I had the lighting crew spin a HMI 5K around to give him the rim light.
Since I keep a portfolio on my phone, I was able to show Michael a picture from the first time I photographed him. Athletes always seem to remember where and when a picture of themselves was taken. He immediately zoomed into the goggles he posed with in the photo. He got the year correct, and I helped him with the location of the blue wall I used as a background at the Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
I also photographed Michael’s appearance in the Sarasota, Florida area. Michael played Laurel Oak Country Club on February 20, 2013, then went to the Orioles spring training camp on the following day. Michael played 18 holes with Haney and a film crew. The beautiful golf course was chosen because of its proximity to the Orioles camp, and its private facilities.
The Orioles welcomed Phelps and Haney with open arms the following day. They took batting practice, got a tour of the facility, met with head coach Buck Showalter and signed autographs. It’s always interesting to see a pro athlete signing an autograph for another pro athlete. Late in the day at the Orioles camp, a clubhouse employee went up to see Phelps in a blue Speedo, and asked him to race in the pool. It got quite a few laughs!
Here’s a gallery of my Michael Phelps images on GolfChannel.com.
Be sure to watch the Hank Haney Project with Michael Phelps on Golf Channel!
Scholastic Books contacted me about photographing Arielle Metzger in Sanford, Florida. Arielle and her family were homeless, living in a converted van for many months before 20/20 featured them on their tv show. Through generous donations and community involvement, Arielle and her family have a place to call home. Here are my photos from the photo shoot:
I was asked to make a portrait for the Sunday Times (London) of British crime writer Mark Billingham. Billingham has a vacation home in Sarasota, Florida for when he isn’t working in London. Excuse me… It’s a “Holiday” home. The Sunday Times editor sent me some great examples of past work for the Homes section, which I was working for. The magazine needed some portraits of Mark and his family and some interiors of the home.
I did some research for the photo shoot by visiting Mark’s website and finding the home on Google Maps.
I called Mark on the way down from Orlando to Sarasota. I left nice and early. We scheduled an 11am meeting at his home on Wednesday, July 25th. The Billingham’s couldn’t have been any more pleasant. I had to turn down multiple offers of tea. I felt bad, but I’ve never been a tea or coffee drinker.
Their home was beautifully decorated with a British and holiday theme. There were portraits of writers, the Queen, punk rockers and more. I loved the British flag over a couch and an antique sign they purchased at a yard sale over the master bed. They also had an older London subway map in the master bathroom. Claire, his wife, pointed out many decorations in the home including some Ringling Brothers art and statues of monks. Other things that caught my eye were a wooden chicken sitting atop the fireplace mantle, a colorful “Hamburgers, Ice Cream, Malts” sign and antique Pepsi memorabilia in the kitchen and a cow skull in the living room.
I asked Claire if it was weird having a photographer photograph every room in their home and she replied, “no, we’re used to it.” She even kicked her son out of his room so I could go in for a few minutes. (Sorry Jack!) I also asked Claire how many books Mark has sold. She didn’t know either, so she went to ask him. She returned and said “seven million.” I was really impressed with the figure, but Mark has another book coming out soon, and the number will rise.
Since I grew up in Maine, I brought up the only fiction crime writer I knew… Stephen King. I got the chance to photograph King before the start of a Rays and Red Sox game many years ago. King also has a home near the Billingham’s, and Claire said she’s seen him out and about a few times but has never said hello. (I’d love to get back to the Sarasota area to make a portrait of Mr. King! Hint Hint.)
I then made portraits with my Profoto 7B and Elinchrom Octobank of the family and Mark alone. We started in the kitchen, moved to the living area, then near the pool and finally in the front yard. We had a few wardrobe changes during the session much to Mark’s dismay. We also loosened up their French doors so they both open!
The clip is from the Sunday, August 5 edition of the Sunday Times in London, England.
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I recently traveled to Lake Las Vegas to photograph Centurion boats and their riders for editorial and commercial purposes. Although it was a lifestyle shoot, I took it upon myself to ask Centurion wake surfer Bri Chmel for a quick portrait session overlooking the lake. She happily accepted the offer.
I set up a Profoto 7B with a magnum reflector while Bri relaxed in the air conditioned rental car. It was so hot that I thought the rocks she’s standing on would’ve melted her feet. The harsh direct light of the magnum wasn’t ideal, but it was super windy on the hill and anything else would have blown away. I was alone with no sandbags, but Profoto came through again! We lucked out with some nice clouds and Bri and Centurion were excited with the results.
It was one of the most bizarre assignments of my life. I was to meet members of the band Monarchy at their Orlando hotel to make portraits of them. At the time, nobody knew their identities, and it would stay that way. They arrived via car. They were wearing suits. And masks. It was awesome.
They chose to release an album in the central Florida area because of the space program in Cape Canaveral. They held a private concert the following night at an amphitheater on the space coast. It
Modern Materials Handling contacted me about making a portrait of Logistics Systems Manager Mike Jacks in Coca-Cola’s Lakeland, Florida distribution center. Jacks is in charge of a VoIP system that Coke uses in their warehouses across the country. I’d explain what that is, but maybe you should google it.
My assistant and I scouted this gigantic warehouse before Mr. Jacks came in. Pallets and pallets of Coke products, stack high for as far as the eye can see. I got shot down on a few of my ideas because of safety reasons…”Can we lift Mr. Jacks in that hole up there between the Coke and Sprite pallets?” “Can Mr. Jacks sit on the forklift with a pallet of Coke?” No to both of those, but we were allowed to build our own set at ground level, so that’s what we did. I lit the scene with a Profoto 7B with an Elinchrom octobank. We had it ready for Mr. Jacks when he walked in, and were done in 20 minutes. We experimented with different brands, poses and props.
Just for the record, Mike was a great sport, and would have agreed to be lifted high among the pallets for a great photo. :)
My job never sucks, but some days are better than others. Waterski Magazine called and asked if I was available to make portraits of world waterski champion Clem Lucine. I’ve photographed her before for the magazine, boxing with her friend Natalia Berdnikova.
This time was different. Lucine just scored 10,040 points in tricks, becoming the first woman to break the 10,000 mark. It also elevated the world overall record. We made some portraits where she trains and then went down the street, to photograph her with her Ski Nautique boat. We had a great two hours of shooting… dramatic clouds, high energy jumps and posed rope handles.
Clem was terrific to work with. Days after the shoot, she headed back to France for the winter and celebrated her achievements. Congratulations Clem!
I photographed Melanie Kratovil in the summer of 2011 on board the boat “West Wind.” The boat is a working lobster boat, moored in Biddeford Pool, Maine. It’s owned by the hard working, fearless Randy Desmarais. Randy has been a lobsterman since the age of 9. He is friends with Kyle, my buddy since childhood. Kyle has a Maine fishing charter. Kyle organized my photo shoot on the West Wind so my girlfriend and I could experience a few hours on a lobsterboat.
I brought my profoto 7B, and a medium softbox. Before we went in for the day, I asked Randy to pull the boat in front of the Wood Island Lighthouse, off the coast of Biddeford. We shot some pictures of them on the back of the boat, then near the cockpit. I really liked the photos, and quickly shared them with Randy and Melanie.
A whole winter went by when Melanie contacted me about Maine Magazine representatives seeing the photo on her Facebook account, and being interested in using a photo from that day as their next cover. I uploaded a few images to photoshelter so the editors could preview a few photos. I always had a hunch someone would appreciate the pictures, and was excited to see them land on a great Maine magazine.
I was contacted by Cancer Today Magazine to photograph Tampa resident Bob Samuels at his home for their Summer 2012 cover. Samuels is many things. Banker. Veteran. Cancer survivor. Chairman of National Prostate Cancer Coalition. Father. Husband. Author. Pioneer. Advocate.
Tampa photographer Edward Linsimer helped me set up Mr. Samuels portrait on his front porch, then his back patio. We took notice of Mr. Samuels pictures with politician, leaders, businessmen and celebrities. One thing that caught my eye was Mr. Samuels Olympic torch that he carried before the 2002 Olympic Games. It was in Salt Lake City that year. I got goose bumps when he allowed me to pick it up.
Mr. Samuels and his wife Lillie later posed together for a portrait on their back porch. We had a great photo shoot. It was an honor to spend a few hours with Mr. Samuels.
Cy Cyr Inc.