Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ten years ago today on Saturday, August 8, 2009, I had my first encounter with a paparazzi-type photo situation. It was by complete chance. I was photographing a race in Martha’s Vineyard and the race director, who shall remain nameless, told me and the race timers that Jake Gyllenhaal was running in this race. Apparently he frequented Martha’s Vineyard several times before and might have even had a family house on the island. To be honest, at the time, I had no idea who Jake was, I kept confusing him with Toby McGuire who starred in the Spiderman movies. I photographed the race, and someone whispered to me “there’s Jake!” I turned around and saw him photographing two of Reese Witherspoons kids who were finishing. (He was dating her at the time.) He had already finished the race but it didn’t dawn on me until later that night that I had captured him finishing the race with such a great expression. I ended up posting a message on one of the photography forums I belong to, and a fellow photographer gave me a name and number of a photo agency which deals with this type of photography. Anyway, the photo of Jake running, and some of the other shots, ran in publications from Austria to New Zealand. I realized soon after seeing one of my pay stubs why certain photographers do the kind of work they do. That said, I’m still not planning on hiding in bushes or ambushing people coming out of a restaurant to help put food on my table. That kind if photography is just NOT for me. Soon after seeing one of the photos in the NY dailies, the race director banned me from his future races. This, after he told me about the actor running in his event and having no conversation at all with me about the fact that I couldn’t submit photos for publication. I still shake my head about his actions and words on social media towards me 10 years ago. Time is flying. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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