Mega-Investor Bill Ackman For Barron’s

$10.3 Billion Dollars. That’s the value of the funds run by Bill Ackman, the founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. When you’re in charge of that kinda money, even I know you probably don’t wanna spend a lot of time posing for pictures. But I had to shoot a cover for Barron’s and little problems like this weren’t gonna get the job done….

I went up for a location scout, but as is the case with most of the investment companies I’m tasked to photograph, where I can shoot is often extremely controlled. Pershing Square’s offices are very striking…42 floors above Central Park, ultra-modern, with white glass walls and a view most people would kill to shoot…but I didn’t really wanna do a ‘view’ portrait, and besides, I knew that Art Streiber had already done that picture for Portfolio Magazine a couple years back…and a lot of the other areas of their office we strictly off-limits because of SEC rules, so my choices were whittled down to these two spots…..

A possible cover location…

…and a second spot, in their kitchen, that had an repeated Op-Art view of a vintage print of the original Pershing Square…

Of course the two locations were on opposite sides of the floor, and of course we would have maybe ten minutes with Bill to get both photographs done! That meant setting up both shots ahead of time (with the ‘normal’ six tons of lighting gear!) and work fast. We started with the doorway shot…

…which gave Barron’s this for the cover…

And then were off to the kitchen for something a bit more relaxed…

And since we finished both shots so quickly, he even gave us another minute to re-set and blast off a few ringlight portraits, one of which sits at the top of this post.


6 thoughts on “Mega-Investor Bill Ackman For Barron’s

  1. Fantastic as always Brad! Question about the blue background in the doorway shot. The first photo of that location doesn’t have the same colour shift as the second. Did you achieve this with a cool white balance and corrected flash color, or did you have blue gelled strobes on the b/g?


    Good eye…..the main light was the 22″ Mola Demi (with grid) and we threw a half-CTO over it and then white balanced (by eye) until I got the desired amount of blue-ness…I just looked and the final color temp was 3750K BT

  2. Thanks a lot for your blog – I’m learning so much from both the posts and the comments.

    Another question on the doorway shot: how did you end up controlling the reflections that we see in the first snapshot?


    Easy….the scouting shot was available light, so you see the reflections in the glass…the final image had a few thousands watt-seconds of strobe overpowering the available light, so no reflections! BT

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