Forbes Celebrity 100 Issue

Jessica Alba

Tobey Maguire

Seth MacFarlane

All Images © Emily Shur

I did three shoots for the Celebrity 100 issue of Forbes (June 4, 2012 edition).  The first three images are the ones that ran, and here’s an extra one of Seth that I liked.  What I find most interesting about photographers’ blogs is often the story behind the images.  However, what seems to happen to me a lot is that I can’t really talk too much about the problems, conflicts, and issues that may come up before, during, or after the shoot.  Dealing with all of these less than perfect elements is what separates the men from the boys and of course, the women from the girls.  As much as I write this blog for myself, let’s be honest and call it what it is.  It’s self promotion, and I can’t exactly be completely honest about things that would hinder me from getting hired in the future.  So, unfortunately what winds up happening is a lot of “This was awesome!” and “Check me out!”  I’m saying this as someone who does not love this quality in others’ blogs, and it bums me out a little bit on blogging in general that this is what it has to be for us professionals.  So, if you see me in person and have any questions about the reality of being a working photographer, please ask.

On the bright side, I do like these images, and I honestly did enjoy all three of these people quite a bit.  Jessica was absolutely gorgeous in person with perfect(!) skin, and she was nice on top of it all.  Jeez.  Tobey was such an interesting guy who really cared a lot about the photographs.  I feel like we bonded.  Seth was so nice.  He struck me as someone who definitely enjoys being behind the scenes more than in front of the camera which I totally get (and can relate to).  I tried to make pictures that were representative of his personality rather than being wacky for the sake of being wacky.  All of these subjects were great, and I was excited to shoot all of them.

5 comments to Forbes Celebrity 100 Issue

  • DRH

    Nicely done, as always. Esp love the Jessica A photo. Seems you tweaked the color palette or desaturated or something? Would of course love to hear the difficulties you may have encountered here, but one thing you can perhaps reveal: how many behind-the-scenes people are involved, besides photo assistants? Stylist? Makeup? Hair? Publicists? How long did you have with each subject? Did you have to rent the locations?

  • Hi there,

    Yes I can answer all of those questions. I always do some form of color work on all of my images. I don’t have a set formula. I go by what works best for each shoot, each subject, lighting, etc. There is usually a hair person, a make up person, a stylist (usually the stylist has an assistant) and one publicist. In the case of the men, a groomer usually handles both hair and light make up. I had anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours with the subjects on all three of these shoots. We had to get multiple set ups within that time frame so sometimes it’s as quick as 10 minutes per set up. In terms of locations it also varied on these three shoots. For Jessica we shot the at headquarters of her company which were not very photogenic hence the tight shot outdoors. For Tobey and Seth we shot at rented locations, but magazines have pretty tight budgets nowadays so we are limited to what we can afford. We also have to take into consideration the schedules of our subjects – drive time, where they need to go after the shoot, etc. Hope that is somewhat informative! Thanks for asking.

  • DRH

    Thank you!
    I’ll press my luck… the shot of Seth sitting in the chair/bench/whatever — gorgeous lighting. How? (Here I am calling him “Seth,” like I know him. Only one of the most successful guys in entertainment.)

  • It’s all strobes but allowing the ambient light of the lamp to come in as well. I think we lit the room overall, and then put a grid on Seth to pop him out a little bit more.

  • Emily, though I like all four of these, the last image of Seth is my favorite. The lighting and composition are just *right* as a conceived whole. The chair at front left really completes the image.

    Beautifully done. Hope this finds you well.