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Congrats to Joe T!

Aug 25

In history, In The Field, Stories at 6:40am

This past weekend, Joe Torre’s #6 was officially retired at Yankee Stadium. He rightly took his place among the pinstriped legends. I worked with Joe a number of times over the years, and he always proved to be an affable subject. I wrote about the above snap in The Moment It Clicks.

I shot it in the aftermath of Frank Torre’s heart transplant surgery, performed by the famous Dr. Mehmet Oz. Frank and Joe were not only brothers, but also one of those rare tandems of siblings who both made it to the big leagues. I was assigned to shoot the trio, at Yankee stadium, for a story on alternative medicine. At about noon, on a sunny day. As I think I asked in the book, “What do you do with three relatively lumpy guys who are waiting for you to tell them to do something interesting.?” In five minutes or less. In bad light.

The answer, as it often can be, was a big, single blow of light, in this case a 74″ Octa. One light, full power, open up the faces, and beat back the sun. The operative thing that goes through my mind during a session like this is always “KISS!” Keep it simple, stupid. No time for anything fancy.

But, if you leave these guys alone and don’t direct them, all you got is three different head shots, only all in the same picture. So, you gotta have an idea, and venture it, at the risk of hearing no, or even worse, being ridiculed for suggesting something outlandish or stupid. With Joe and Frank, though, I knew I had a couple good guys who had spent enough time in locker rooms to respond to “How about giving Dr. Oz a big, Brooklyn smooch?” Which set the doc to beaming. Three minutes or so, and I left with a picture for LIFE.

Shot Joe and his equally famous golf buddy Rudy Giuliani for the cover of Golf Digest, also at the old Yankee Stadium.

We shot this in the left field warmup area, hence the rumpled seamless. The biggest problem I had was that as soon as the team got wind that the skipper and the mayor were doing a photo shoot, they started pulling home run balls over the left field wall during batting practice, hoping for mischief, or perhaps to see one of my lights explode. One ball was a screamer that might have done some damage, but we were saved by Mo Rivera, who Joe described as the best pure athlete on the team. Rivera made a helluva grab, and the set stayed safe.

Congrats to Joe, who always made my job easy. More tk….




Bob DeChiara says:

on August 25, 2014 at 7:28 am

Love that top pic with Dr Oz. Hope all is well!

Tommy says:

on August 25, 2014 at 11:22 am

All that setup for an image that is a completely failure. The white background paper is a complete mess. Also no photographer brings the background paper outside because of the wind!!
So much work for such a bad image is to me quite unbelivable!!

Ian says:

on August 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Tommy obviously has multiple magazine covers to speak of and is perfect in every other way. Congratulations!

Brant says:

on August 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Wow. That was a bad lighting situation to be in but you pulled it off as you always do! There is nothing worse (well…there may be few more situations that would trump it but not many) than shooting in full sun at high noon. Last time I did that I “burned” my subject because I had to power up my strobe so much. In retrospect I should have softened my light a bit more and introduced a second strobe. Live and learn!

Have a good day!


Joe Ethridge says:

on August 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Great shots buddy! What a gig! :)

John Fowler says:

on August 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

Thanks Joe. Another one for the book – when will we see it?

Edd Carlile says:

on August 29, 2014 at 8:32 am

I actually love the mashed up seamless…it looks exactly like fine white sand on a Gulf coast golf course sand trap. I think it looks great actually.

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