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James Patterson

James Patterson

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“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.”

James Patterson Sunday Times

 

 

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson

I first met Orlando model Lauren Thompson around 2005, a few years after moving to Orlando, Florida.  The photos we took back then were for her website.  Fast forward eight years.  In the words of Lebron James, Lauren and I “took our talents” to Golf Channel.  She’s one of the hosts of Morning Drive, Top Ten and Golf Now.

When Lauren needed photos for her upcoming website, she gave me a call.  We met at Windermere Country Club at sunrise.  Windermere CC is a beautiful track, just  a short drive from downtown Orlando or the attractions.  They also have a great staff and teaching facility.

Lauren’s makeup artist friend Summer joined us in creating the images you see.  I had seen Summer’s name and photos for years here in Orlando, and it was finally nice to meet her!

We immediately went to the 18th hole, where a lone tree grows from a water hazard.  The sun was rising and the fog on the water looked fantastic.  I built my Profoto 7B with an Elinchrom 6′ octabank, and went to work.  Working with Lauren is a photographers dream.  There’s no coaching necessary.

We went to another hole for a different look, loverlooking water.  Lauren changed in a gorgeous white dress, which you don’t see on the golf course everyday.  I love the images we created.  A simple white reflector was used for the backlit photos.  I wonder if she got those green golf grips for the Masters???

We ended the photo session by having Lauren take some golf swings around the green and in the sand trap.

You can also see one of the photos in action on Lauren’s Twitter page.  Make sure to follow her!

Congratulations to Lauren on all her successes, and tune into Golf Channel to see her live!

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Cy Cyr is an Orlando based editorial, commercial and celebrity photographer.  His work can be found at Golf Channel, Disney, Golf Digest, Siemens, Autumn Games and many more. In 2011 he created a sports photography agency.  Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson

 

Lauren Thompson

 

Lauren Thompson

Banana George

"Banana" George Blair

“Banana” George Blair

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.