Up On The Roof, Playing Soccer With A Billionaire

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Normally when you get the call to shoot a Billionaire industrialist, you can pretty much bet you’re gonna have five minutes in a stark boardroom and there won’t be a whole lotta fun involved. This was exactly what Jeff Beasley…the Picture Editor at FourFourTwo magazine…hoped wouldn’t happen when he asked me to shoot Bob Rich, the Chairman of Rich Products Corporation, for a feature on unlikely soccer club owners. Rich had recently gotten involved with the Bedlington Terriers F.C.…a small football club playing in the Northern League based in Bedlington, England…after tracing his family tree back to the area and after his wife purchased the title of Lord Bedlington for him as a gift. Jeff wanted a portrait that would show Rich’s Big City American roots…something that might mimic a photograph I did of Howard Sontag high above Madison Avenue…while still tying in the Soccer aspect of the story. It turned out the Buffalo-based billionaire was going to be in New York City for a couple of days, but his schedule was extremely tight. We had a tiny window of opportunity to shoot him at his hotel…the Peninsula New York…but while extremely nice, was not exactly a soccer pitch in midtown. I called the hotel and their P/R person told me they that since it was Mr. Rich, they would gladly make the roof bar area available to us and that it has a “lovely view” of Central Park. Feeling buoyed by that news, I headed uptown (in the rain) to scout it out. This was the “lovely view” of the Park…

It wasn’t exactly the pastoral oasis amongst the concrete I had envisioned, but panning the roof I figured I could make something with what I had to work with…

The next morning the rain had stopped and Kaz and I arrived at the (extremely humid) crack of dawn and went about moving the 50 or so tables out of the way to turn the Salon de Ning Rooftop Lounge into our studio for the day…

With the sun out, lighting was super simple…all we needed was the Mola Setti on a boom and the backlighting did the rest…

We even broke out the tried & true ‘Ball Juggling’ routine…

Bob approves…

…and FourFourTwo liked it, too…


4 thoughts on “Up On The Roof, Playing Soccer With A Billionaire

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