Ray Dalio for the London Sunday Times

It’s no exaggeration saying Ray Dalio is a fabulously successful fund manager. His investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, is among the largest hedge funds in the World and he’s personally worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 Billion. I had been offered the chance to shoot him three separate times, but was always booked and had to pass. Then Andrew Mitchell at the London Sunday Times called, and I figured this might be my final opportunity. He had been making the rounds pushing his book, Principles: Life and Work and we were promised ‘a few minutes’ with Ray while he was at a meeting in Manhattan…off we went…

Ever since seeing the Irving Penn show at the Met, I’ve found myself channelling the Master…I’m pulling out the backdrops and firing up the really soft lights more than usual…so Kaz and I set up a little North Light studio off in an area that was under construction of the floor where he had his meeting…

Super simple…just a big, soft 5′ umbrella and a couple of canvas drops…

Ray arrived wearing monochromatic greys and everything just meshed…

Nice, but the Black & White was even more dramatic…

After a few minutes, we quickly switched to another location about 15 feet from the first. It was a painted wall that was due to be demolished shortly, but would be perfect as a backdrop for a second portrait…

A little color and contrast tweaking, and we were ready to go…

Here’s how things looked in the Times of London…

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Optical Illusions & Ice Cream Cones

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For Part Two of my story featuring Anthony “Superman” Scaramucci, Bloomberg Markets magazine had me head back up to SkyBridge Capital to photograph Managing Partner Ray Nolte and Senior Portfolio Manager and Managing Director Troy Gayeski. Since I had already shot their boss shadow boxing in his office surrounded by cartoon characters, I kinda had to think of something equally offbeat for their portrait, but the rest of the SkyBridge office was decidedly not offbeat. It was, quite frankly…pretty utilitarian…office cubicles and a rather small trading area. But as Kaz and I were walking the halls we passed a tiny little kitchen area that caught my eye…

Now, I’ve been shooting guys in their offices my entire professional life, but this was the first box of ice cream cones I’ve ever come across. And even though the space was barely big enough to swing a cat, ice cream cones in a financial office had to be a sign to stop and take a photograph! So we did…

…and when Troy…who is actually at least an inch taller than Ray…jumped off the counter and stood next to him, we pulled off this almost Funhouse Mirror-style image…

Even though they were standing next to each other, the combination of the super wide-angle lens I was using and Troy leaning back slightly on the counter made him look freakishly small! But it certainly makes you stop and look.

Next, we decided to shoot them in the Sea of Cubicles that made up the trading area, but add a little bit of surreality by dropping a white seamless behind them…

…and the final image…

Anthony Scaramucci is Superman!!!

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Even with the highly charged, Occupy Wall Street attitude that is gripping the country, you hafta look at Anthony Scaramucci as a pretty interesting guy. Besides being the founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, an asset management fund with about $8 billion in the bank, at 47 he’s already written his autobiography…‘Goodbye, Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul’…had a cameo in Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps’, volunteers on the board of The Lymphoma Foundation and The Brain Tumor Foundation, is a rabid Mets fan who also hangs out with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, got nicknamed “Gucci Scaramucci” by former President George W. Bush, and he has enough jam to draw investment superstars like Steven Cohen, Leon Cooperman and Kenneth Griffin and political heavies like Colin Powell and Gordon Brown, to the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, his annual symposium for hedge-fund managers and investors. But when I was sent to photograph him for Bloomberg Markets magazine, the one thing that jumped out at me was his unabashed love for all things Superman! Every wall and surface in his office has Superman memorabilia…posters, painting, games, sculptures…it was like I got sent to a 12 year-old kid’s room, and not the office of a Master of the Universe. But I quickly understood how this street-smart Harvard Law School graduate who wants “…to be the Peter Lynch of the hedge-fund industry!” held the Good vs. Evil metaphors that are at the center of every Superman cartoon close to heart, so we ran with it…

For once, Bo was the perfect height to act as a stand-in…

Our Barrel-Chested Financial Man of Steel…

…and the completed opening spread, with new creative director Siung Tjia’s Superman cape graphic that wraps the headline…

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.