Tiny Room Portraits Of Mohamed El-Erian For InvestmentNews

So I got an email from Scott Valenzano, the Art Director at InvestmentNews

“Don’t care if you are booked, can you shoot this cover for me…..”

The gig was Mohamed El-Erianrabid New York Jets fan and the BIG brain behind PIMCO…the global investment management firm with about $2 Trillion bucks sewn up in the mattress. As is the case with most billionaires, we weren’t gonna have a lot of time…and we had to shoot him in the InvestmentNews offices, so no big open spaces, no high ceilings, no groovy locations. And Scott wanted a couple of setups…but we’ve done this lotsa times. Let’s roll…

Scott ushered us into a conference room…it was maybe 12′ x 15′ with a lovely 8′ ceiling and a huge table in the middle. It would be perfect…insert sarcasm…more than enough for a couple of setups! Scott mentioned that he wanted a really bright look for one of the shots and mentioned how he liked the orange drops I used in my portraits of Bill O’Reilly and Ricky Gervais…

Here’s how we squeezed ourselves into the room…

Normally I would use a 3′ Octa for a main light, but in that room we were seriously limited with what we could do. We managed to have just enough ceiling height to fly a 20″ Profoto Beauty Dish for a main light, filled with a Profoto Ringlight…

After some color and contrast adjustments, here is the how the final lighting looked…

Onto the second setup. We turned 45 degrees to the left and used a simliar lighting as the first, but since Mohamed would be sitting I had enough space for a 3′ Profoto RFI main light. In place of the ringlight, we used a 6′ Chimera bank placed directly behind me and the camera for fill. We dropped a half roll of Thunder Grey seamless behind him and covered the table with another piece and here’s how Kaz looked…

Partly because of the limited space, but mostly cuz I liked the wide angle perspective, we used a 50mm lens on the Hasselblad for both setups…

Here’s how everything turned out in the magazine…

You can read what Mohamed thinks about whether or not a recession is coming HERE


5 thoughts on “Tiny Room Portraits Of Mohamed El-Erian For InvestmentNews

  1. Hey Brad, It was great to see you and Ronnie at Tartine. I also enjoyed meeting Adrian (finally!) and Laura.

    Great job pulling three more rabbits out of hats with the pictures they used for the El-Erian cover and inside art. Did he give you any investment advice? I have always listened carefully to what he says on CNBC.

    All best, Bruce

    BRUCE R. JAFFE Computer Tutor / Computer Doctor Tel.: 347-623-6242 New York, NY http://www.mycompdr.com

    Support for Macs, PCs, iPhones & iPads

    Well…thanks for the compliments…..I’m doing all I can with the gifts God gave me! BT

  2. Without a shadow of a doubt you are the best portrait photographer I have ever seen – your mastery of light is remarkable and I could look at your work all day long

    Thank you for sharing


    Thanks Daddy-O…dunno if this was ‘magical’, but thanks for saying so! BT

  3. Oh I can relate to the ever returning small space challenges.
    loving this post! thanks for sharing

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