New Work – Robert Nardelli

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My tour of the nation’s boardrooms continued last week when I got to spend some time with Bob Nardelli, the ex-CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler, who is now at Cerberus Capital Management, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the country. His new gig has him running the Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company…a little portfolio that includes about 50 companies with combined revenues of nearly $50 billion. With that as his day job, it’s not too surprising that I was not going to be given a lot of time to do what I do, but I was further hamstrung when the location I wanted to shoot him in was deemed ‘too public’ and instead my only choice was…the boardroom.

The boardroom is always the first place I’m shown and usually the last place I wanna be! The person giving me the office tour typically says, “We’ve done a lot of photography in here!”, which makes me wonder why they think I would want to go where thousands have gone before, but beyond that, most boardrooms are just not that photo-friendly. They can be High-Tech or Old-World and as well-designed as possible, but there’s no gettin’ around the monstrously large table that inevitably takes up the bulk of the room. And even the best boardroom is usually kinda bland, overlit and without much drama. So to overcome these little obstacles I decided to get a bit dark and moody and make a shot that was more cinematic than real…..

…then, for a quick secondary photo, I decided to do one of my Artificial Portraits (above) that I could also serve as a nice setup for a tight portrait…..