I Got To Wear Gay Talese’s Hat…

Gay Talese

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Gay Talese. In the Hall of Fame of Great American writers, few are more iconic or more respected than Gay Talese. From his early work as a newspaper reporter to his time during the hey day of Esquire magazine and his long career writing some of the best nonfiction you’ll ever read, this man has seen and done it all…and with more style than you’ll ever have! Laura Baer recently had me shoot him for a feature in New Jersey Monthly…a shoot that ended with me wearing the great man’s hat!

Upon arriving at his townhouse, we immediately noticed the silk-covered settee framed by silk curtains in the front window…


It didn’t really require much lighting…but I added a 6′ Chimera for an overall soft fill behind the camera, and positioned a gridded 3′ ProFoto RFI directly above the seat for our main light…


We waited out the harsh sunlight coming through the windows, and when the outside light was just soft enough, things really got interesting…

Gay Talese

The color shift from direct sunlight to open shade…and the blue cast it caused on the drapes…gave us a wonderful, cool mood that played off the warm tones of the settee, curtains and his suit.

Next, we set up a little studio in his back yard for some tighter portraits…

Gay Talese

…which gave us this…

Gay Talese

Here’s how it looked in print…



6 thoughts on “I Got To Wear Gay Talese’s Hat…

  1. Always love your BTS. Wondering, what you are using as a posing table? It looks portable.

    Ha! I got sick of the commercial posing tables that cost a ton of money and are typically pretty lame so I built my own. I got a shelf from IKEA, bolted a Matthews Baby Plate into it, and the thing will fit on top of any light stand! I use a tiny Matthews stand that only extends about three feet, but that’s more than enough for a posing table and the whole rig comes apart and fits in one of my stand bags. BT

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