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A few weeks ago, Mr. DeLucca asked if I would like to take a trip up to Herald Square to shoot Terry Lundgren, the President, Chairman of the Board, Director and CEO of Macy’s. “Yeah”, I said, “but only if I don’t hafta do some lame picture of him on the retail floor!”. Thus began our journey…

I went up to Macy’s for a quick location scout and was of course shown every square inch of the million square feet of retail space in the World’s Largest Department Store…none of which really interested me. What I really wanted to see was their display department…I had a kind of cool idea that required mannequins and such, but I got shot down on that one. I was then offered a look around their ‘Executive Offices’, which is normally the kiss of death, but in this case it proved damned inspiring. The floor dates back to the 1902 origin of the building and was stunning, but what really got me going was the Executive Dining Room. The walls were covered in frescos painted in the 1940′s that show views of the building as it looked back then…

But using the P/R guy as a stand in, I saw immediately that just dropping him in front of the wall was gonna be flat-footed and boring…..

I needed to raise him up and get him into the scene, and that was gonna take a lot of gear! (And since this was a Barron’s gig, I only had one assistant) So Kaz and I showed up early…we got to Macy’s three hours before the shoot…and proceeded to turn the dining room into a photo studio for real. Besides my usual two tons of lighting gear, we hauled in apple boxes, saw horses, a sheet of plywood and a 4 x 8 piece of white plexiglass and went about rigging a platform that would raise him up to the right height…

But we still had one final hurdle to get over…the P/R guy walked in while we were setting up and had concerns about our plastic saw horses….”Do you have any stronger sawhorses for the Chairman?!!”. I had to get up on the platform and dance a jig to convince him we were safe. And it was worth it…here’s the resulting page in Barron’s…

But I wasn’t done. My favorite image was actually like that set-up shot I sat in for. The much more dramatic, pulled-back view of Lundgren is now sitting at the front of my portfolio…

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  1. that is absolutely fantastic!

  2. que bueno dude…

    • Luke Tani
    • Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM
    • Permalink

    That’s awesome. I’m willing to pay for the video of you doing the jig on the sawhorses.

  3. Interesting that you chose the one you did to add to the portfolio – I think the one they used is the winner, almost surreal. The wider shot diminishes him (and his sense of power), and the framing, all the things I love about the one that ran.

  4. Brilliant! What a great shot.

  5. nice!

    • Don W
    • Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:11 AM
    • Permalink

    Thanks Brad – + I think I might buy some Macy’s stock!

  6. Excellent, really wish I had the skills to get opportunities like this, would love to shoot something other than self portraits in my flat :p

    • Christian aka Holly
    • Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:13 AM
    • Permalink

    Very cool, Brad!! Love your blogs.

  7. awesome job! – i like the result news-page too, but the ‘werk’ shot at the end is even more amazing! :-)))

  8. Tasty. You weren’t going to set him up in a pile of mannequin parts were you? I’ve seen that done well.

  9. Is that what they mean by “Elevating your images to a new level” ;)

    Great thinking. Shame the editorial guys cut a line through his feet.


  10. Awesome Brad. Great idea. Makes me think….

  11. just a quick question – what is the material that you set up for the “floor” ? really like the reflectiveness and shine that it gives … gave me a few ideas!

    It’s just a sheet of 4×8 white plexi…BT

    • dana
    • Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:06 AM
    • Permalink

    great shots! what lenses do you use for a shot like this

  12. As a student who is about to graduate (and has studied your work in some of my courses!) My only question is: how did you get him up there? It seems like being able to talk him into climbing up there (in a suit) was the biggest hurdle…Was there a chair? Did someone give him a boost? or did he just climb up! Love your work-thanks so much for your detailed explanations, very inspiring

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By Inspiring Photographers « joshvincentphoto on 23 May 2011 at 7:03 pm

    [...] Brad Trent: Amazing stuff with Time magazine, and i really like the way that he includes his lighting setups in his shoots and blog. [...]

  2. By American Photography 28 « Damn Ugly Photography on 09 May 2012 at 12:05 pm

    [...] Winner’s Gallery for American Photography 28 went live yesterday, and my portrait of Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren was among the images chosen. My shot can be seen HERE. Share [...]

  3. [...] decided to run with something I saw Brad Trent do in a photo several months ago. Brad was mixing a very large soft source with a gridded beauty dish nearly on-axis to the soft source. This gave him a big, soft, light source with a very harsh and [...]

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