Cupcakes from Anne Hathaway

We’re in New York shooting portraits of celebrities for the book ‘Art & Soul‘ with The Creative Coalition and Sony. Assignments this good are really rare. Even though I’ve been l blessed with more than my share of unbelievable assignments in my career, shooting portraits of so many Oscar winners, Tony winners, Grammy winners and Emmy winners was about as cool gig as I can imagine.

Photographing a portrait of Anne Hathaway is an experience that can hardly be topped, except when Anne showed up at our shoot with a box of her favorite cupcakes for our crew. Thanks Annie for being even sweeter than I’d imagined. Thanks also to Anne’s hair stylist Ted Gibson. Not only is Ted one of the top stylists in the country, but he knows how to work a wind machine…

Actress Anne Hathaway photographed by Brian Smith for The Creative Coalition Art & Soul project
Actress Anne Hathaway photographed by Brian Smith for The Creative Coalition’s ‘Art &Soul’ project

celebrity portrait photography Anne Hathaway

After that we headed uptown to Tony Bennett’s Central Park apartment where we talked about what the arts has meant to him, both as a singer and as an artist. Tony credits Frank Sinatra for giving his career a big break. As a way of giving back Tony founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in his hometown of Astoria, Queens.

celebrity portrait photography of Singer Tony Bennett

In the end we shot over 9,000 images and 350 gigs of RAW data without a single slowdown or problem. During the shoots, the artists in this book and I rarely spoke of fame, fortune or fabulous performances. We spoke about their childhoods and what led them to where they are today. Regardless of whether they grew up in small towns and large cities, rich or poor, their lives were all shaped and influenced by the arts and the artists who influenced their careers.

My thanks go out to Ted Okada, Steve Sommers, Phil Lubell, Kristen Elder and Mark Weir of Sony for their support of this project, Kayla Lindquist, director of Sony Artisans of Imagery program, Jeffrey Roberts of American PHOTO, Al Silvestri, Alissa Reynolds and Anna Martin of Hachette Filipacchi Media, Eileen Gittins of Blurb, and special thanks to Robin Bronk and Barbara Horvath of The Creative Coalition.


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  1. Pingback: Brian Smith Apple Store SoHo Lecture: Portrait Photography

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