After a 16-hour shoot day followed by a non-stop editing binge, I'm officially done with White House Correspondents Dinner weekend work. I lost my voice, have a sore throat and definitely can't wear heels for a few days, but am happy and looking forward to a few days off (read: still totally working even though I promised I wouldn't). I had the pleasure of shooting for the New Yorker and The Washington Post, so I thought it would be fun to share the stories behind the work.
The New Yorker hired me to photograph two events for their sales team: an intimate 40-person brunch and a champagne toast at the W with their clients and VIPs, including comedian/actress Mindy Kaling. Since both events were small, discretion was the name of the game for the photography. I'll be the flamboyantly dressed woman with the camera circling like a tiny, friendly ninja. ;)
Staff writer Evan Osnos spoke at the brunch as people ate, so I shot the details of the room and portraits of the publisher, Lisa Hughes, in advance of the guests arrival. As a general rule I avoid photographing people while they are eating; no one looks cute while they're eating. I waited for them to finish and then slipped in the back with my Fujifilm x100s in hand as Osnos began his talk. The small-but-mighty mirrorless camera is essentially silent to shoot with, so it was perfect for capturing the guests' reactions to his witty and intelligent talk on China in the World. The brunch wrapped without issue and it was on to the next shoot, a quick job for the Ecuadorean Embassy before a 30 minute window for editing and a PB&J.
My second shoot for the New Yorker was a pre-WHCD champagne reception at the W. With late-afternoon light spilling in through the hotel's beautiful windows and a stylish crowd, I opted to use the Fuji for the whole job. It captures romantic light particularly well, and I've found that subjects react happily to the camera since it has a retro feel. I scooted around the party chatting and shooting with the guests, discussing one man's quest for the perfect smoking loafers (Geneva, apparently) and Mindy Kaling (wearing Zac Posen) and my mutual love for wearing coral and distaste for hard-case clutches that don't stay closed.
Photos from my work for the New Yorker in the gallery below.
Next, I covered the Buzzfeed and Facebook-sponsored #BowtiesandBurgers party at Jack Rose Saloon for The Washington Post, where I was tasked with capturing VIPs and other guests in full revelry. You can check out the feature online HERE, and one of the photos on the front page of today's Style section (bottom right).
I noshed on some of the tasty sliders, tested out the GIF booth, and delicately ate one single macaroon (read: 6, plus a brownie) from the dessert bar before making my way into the more intimate back room to chat with and photograph the celebrity guests. Darren Criss from Glee and musician Michelle Branch caught up at the bar, I talked bow tie tying techniques with Patrick Duffy and his son, and Lois and Clark star Dean Cain giggled with a trio of women in the corner. Everyone was friendly and personable; since it was only a dozen of us in the room the vibe was distinctively more laid back then the scene when we caught up with Robin Wright and Michael Kelly from House of Cards in the main party. Robin Wright seemed less than excited to be there, and the cast left the party shortly after arriving in order to attend another event. Everyone was polite though, and I don't blame them for being a tad flustered - I don't like taking selfies on a normal day, let alone with dozens of strangers who work in media. Everyone puts their pants on the same way, so I talked to everyone the way I usually do when shooting. I definitely didn't request any selfies, haha.
I got the photos I needed and scooted home for a few hours of editing. My wardrobe choices had served me well - I was glad to have opted for shorter heels - but was excited to settle into a bowl of mac 'n cheese while I finished working until 4:30am.
Phew! All in all not as harrowing as I thought it would be. I slept in a bit before jumping back into editing for a big chunk of yesterday, and everything was delivered on time or early.
Many thanks to the publications, the Buzzfeed press team, and Shannon Cusello for being a rockstar dress/lipstick stylist, assistant, and all-star conversationalist. Also to my partner Martin for making me a huge breakfast sandwich, packing my lunch, and making aforementioned mac 'n cheese at 3am to make sure I have plenty of fuel to keep up with my hyper schedule. I would be one hangry photog without you!