A Travellerspoint blog

July 23rd-Boston here we come!

Preparation for John Hodgeman


Today is the big drive to Boston to photograph John Hodgeman for GQ Magazine. It is a pretty big shoot.

I drove again with Chris in the passenger seat and the prop stylist Joey in the back with all our props. We had a ton of props for this shoot because it was such a big production.

Chris had hired two assistants from Boston to help so we wouldn't have to get another car to fill with NY assistants.

We arrived in Boston after a long drive and went directly to the location in which the shoot was going to take place. We were photographing John at a local movie theater. It was very old and actually John had worked there as a teen. John is actually from Boston. It was a great piece because it was so personal to him.

After scouting out the theater and the surrounding areas for good places to photograph, we decided we need more props. We actually needed orange construction cones to flag off a few parking spaces out in front of the theater. We would be photographing John on a huge ladder putting up the marque letters for the theater. This was the main shot of the story for GQ. The marque would read, "Hello, I'm Famous Starring John Hodgman".

So Joey (prop man) and I made a trip to Home Depot. (Small note that you need to know: I had only 3 hours of sleep since the last stressful photo shoot, I had just driven all the way to Boston, and had finished a full day of scouting and preparation for the shoot) The ride to Home Depot was successful, we managed to find orange cones just fine. The ride back...not so successful, and full of rage on my part. Joey had decided to not look up directions back home and just figured we could figure it out. It was pushing 10 PM and all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and sleep. But instead I drove around all of Boston trying to find our way home. Not fun. I have to say it was the WORST part of my internship. Wow we were so lost.

But after pulling over and asking for directions about 4 times we finally made it back to our hotel. Chris wanted to meet us for dinner, there was no way! I ended up eating cheese and crackers from room service for dinner and falling into bed.

Even though it was a pretty horrible night, I have to say my hotel room made up for it. It was just about the nicest hotel room I've ever seen. I have to take a minute here and describe it.

It was a room just for little ol' me it had two rooms! One for the bed, the other was like an office. Complete with two tvs and a very stocked minibar (that I couldn't touch because I was only conscious enough to take a few photos and than drop dead tired into bed). I had to wake up early the next morning and head off to the shoot, no time for lounging in my great hotel room.

Here are some photos of the place.







The next day was the photo shoot. We had quite a stressful day. Not only was it supposed to be an outdoor shoot, but it rained, and we were trying to shoot out on the sidewalk with tons of people walking by. Pretty wild!

Everyone walking by was screaming, "Hi I'm a PC" as John stood tall on the 8 foot ladder.

Chris almost canceled the shoot because of the rain, but we powered through.

Most of my day was spent holding an umbrella over Chris and the camera. Chris was dry as the desert, but I on the other hand, was totally soaked! I have never been so drenched in my life. It made the shoot much more interesting.

Along with the rain, many other obstacles occurred during the day, including running out of film and trouble with the talent. John actually ended up leaving early because of problems with his family.

We did at least 3 different set ups. One of my favorites that I don't think appeared in the magazine was John with a little boy that was cast to look exactly like him. Same suit, same glasses. It was so cute. They were both holding scripts and looking a little confused. During the shoot, Chris positioned the little boy directly in front of John so they looked stacked. Chris looked over at me and said, "Thanks Jess!" I just nodded and continued helping with the shoot. At the time I had no idea why he was thanking me. Strange.

Later after the shoot was finished I asked him why he thanked me and he said, "Because your 'Stacked Heads' series inspired me to put the little boy in front of John and stack them." I thought that was just about the coolest thing ever. Chris thought of my work and used it in his work! It was pretty great.

The shoot ended after a very long day and a lot of rain.

Here is the final product as used in GQ magazine along with the article.

(Photograph by Chris Buck)

I can tell you so many little funny things about this photograph:

1st off, that little piece of window you see in the bottom left hand corner. That was a pretty famous pizza shop that we had to pay to get red curtains up in their windows. They wouldn't let us block their windows for more than an hour because that's what brought them business, you could watch your pizza be cooked threw those windows. I guess we paid them a good chunk to put up curtains. (We ended up eating their yummy pizza after the shoot :) )

2nd, those little Hollywood stars that you see hanging from the building are really cheap funny props from a party store. But they ended up looking really good in the photo.

3rd, I bet if you look really closely at John's jacket you can see many little rain drops all over it. Those might have been photoshoped out, but they were there. He got lightly rained on the whole shoot.

Over all it was a very exciting photo shoot.

Posted by jesdaw 11:38 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

July 21-July 22 Road to Weird Al

And Pennsylvania


Today is the day we drive off to find Weird Al in Pennsylvania. We actually had to rent two cars, one that I would drive with Chris in the passenger seat, the second would be driven by Chris's assistant Joe, on board with the hair stylist, makeup artist, and prop stylist.

Chris and I left early because we had to scout the location. Our drive to Pennsylvania was a good one. Chris said he was surprised at what a good driver I was. Why Chris? I don't know, but I am quite an amazing driver! Even for a girl. :)

We arrived in Scranton, Penn and found the "castle" that we were going to set up the shoot at in no time. Even though it was raining pretty hard, Scranton still looked like a pretty cute town. (On the phone with my brother, he was so excited that I was in Scranton because the Office is filmed here! New information to me, but pretty fun!)

Here is the Masonic Temple that Weird Al is performing at. He is doing a college town tour, doing stand up. We will be photographing him in the same temple for Wired Magazine.


The temple was so great. We got to tour it and see the most inner workings of the building. The bathrooms and changing rooms, where performers changed, were my favorite parts. I really wish I had photos of these areas but I wasn't able to take any.

This building was now a big performance space, where lots of big acts like Cats, and many other performances come to play. This building was HUGE and full of great places to photograph Weird Al. Chris and I took notes on our tour and later figured out exactly where we were going to shoot, as to save time on the day of.


Here's the engraving for the temple. It was a pretty cool building.

After scouting, we checked into our hotel and decided to eat sushi for dinner. Insert famous story about Chris Buck and urchin here! Man it was a great story, if you ever want to hear it, let me know.

Long story short...or not really told at all, we ended up not eating sushi and getting some gross American food instead. Bummer.

The next day we got up early and had breakfast. We also decided to walk around the little town of Scranton and scout some more. Just in case Chris found another location that he really liked.

Here's a street view of the cute town.



There are so many beautiful old buildings in Scranton. This one had awesome vines all the way up it.


During our walk around town Chris got a call from the the Art Director of Wired to talk about the shoot. We had to take a pit stop while he talked and jotted down info/directions of the shoot.


I think that photo of him is pretty funny. Just some random stoop that he stopped at. :)

Here's another photo of Chris in Scranton, I guess he knew a PJ and that's why he's excited about this sign.


After our walk we met up with the assistant and other photo crew members to start setting up the shoot. The shoot went really well and Chris took some really good photos of Weird Al.

Weird Al was a really nice guy and not as crazy and wild in real life as he is in his movies.

The first and really only thing he said to me was that I looked a lot like an ex-girlfriend of his and that it freaked him out a little. It was pretty funny. I assured him that I was not "Stephanie" and there was no reason to be scared. :)

I knew that Blake is a big Weird Al fan and so I asked Chris if it would be okay if I took one of his test Polaroids from the photo shoot and got Weird Al to sign it for me. Weird Al did and it was a great gift to give to Blake.

It was a really fun and stressful shoot that turned out great. Here is one of the finished products that ended up in Wired Magazine.

(Photograph by Chris Buck)

I was standing to the left of Weird Al when this photo was taken! Pretty exciting.

After the photo shoot, we packed up and drove all night back to New York. I had to drop off the car to the rental place. We had to drive to Boston the very next morning so the assistant left all the photo equipment in his car and parked it in a secure parking lot near Chris's Manhattan apartment.

I only got about 3 hours of sleep before I was up and on the Subway again to pick up the car for our journey to Boston.

What a crazy couple of days.

Posted by jesdaw 10:49 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

July 20th - A great day at the beach

With a great friend


Today I woke up and was instantly bored with my apartment and of Manhattan all together. Not to mention that it was SUCH a HOT summer day.

I called my good friend Josh, asking him if he wanted to head down to Coney Island with me to hit up the beach. It would be the first time I was in the water in New York.

He agreed it would be a great day to get some sun and some time in the cool water.

It was also a great day for cold beers on the beach. I left those for Josh to drink, I'm not a big fan of beers.


Did you know that there are these people out on the beach that walk around all day selling cold water and beers. It's legal to sell water, but it's not legal to sell beer. So they do it on the down low. They yell load about their cold waters, and then get real close and whisper to you that they have beer as well. I think it's pretty funny. We gave in and bought two beers. Thinking I might like one, but after one sip decided I didn't. :)


Oh and they carry bags of lime too, they come prepared! Limes cost extra of course.

We had a lot of fun at the beach. I swear we just floated in the water for about an hour. It was so nice.


I was much happier to be at the beach than I was in my scorching hot apartment.


Having sand in your toes is much better than having sweat drip down your face in your Brooklyn apartment.


A great day!

Posted by jesdaw 10:31 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

July 19th - Another day wandering

Central Park and Blue tongue included


I had a day off of work, a day off of preparation for the upcoming photo shoots.

We have two big shoots coming up, one with Weird Al in Pennsylvania, and one with John Hodgman, the actor who plays the PC guy in the Mac commercials, in Boston. He's a very funny comedian. But I'll write about those later.

Today I needed to get out and just walk around.

I headed over to my favorite park, Central Park.



One of my favorite things to do in the park is people watch, and eat blue popsicles. :)


I got a call from a Denver friend, Brian Fox, otherwise know as Fox or Foxxy, that had moved back to his home town in New England. Fox said that he was driving back home from a family vacation and would be stopping in Manhattan. I was excited to see him and have dinner.

On my way to meet him, I walked through Times Square and found some really fun advertisements.

One for the new Wii Exercise


It was unique because all the photos moved like they were exercising and the middle photo bent back and forth between each player. So cool. Now I want a Wii!!

I also found one of my favorite photographers, Jill Greenburg's photography in a new ad for Shark Week. It was a great photo.


She has such unique style! I love her work.

I also walked by this amazingly talented man. Check him out.



You find the weirdest people in Times Square. Did he actually make money out there? I wonder.

I finally met up with Brian. So good to see familiar faces in strange cities.


We grabbed some really yummy cheesesteaks and a drink.

It was a quick visit, but it was really nice to see Brian.


Nice hat Foxxy!

Posted by jesdaw 10:06 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

July 17th - A weird day at work

It includes a crazy prop shop.


I know I haven't told you much about work lately. But here it is. Let's jump right back into it.

Recently we have been preparing for an upcoming photo shot with Weird Al Yankovic. You all know him right? From UHF. What a fantastic show. "Spatula City!!" He's pretty funny, I'm pretty excited to meet him.

So Chris wants to do a photograph of Weird Al with an arm or leg that is much larger than the other. It's a pretty funny concept, leave it to Chris to come up with something weird and funny. His photographs always have one component or the othe.

I was sent to many prop stores around Manhattan to find exactly what we were looking for.

I didn't quit find it.

But I did find:

gross bloody arms


and gross bloody legs


and gross bloody monster arms and legs


Chris also had an idea to shoot Weird Al in a very Weird Al type of hat, which I did find, but that we just ended up ordering on line.


It was a fun assignment to go look for crazy props.

Posted by jesdaw 09:42 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

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