Rick Yutaka Fowler. Golfer. Oklahoma State University. Red Bull. Bright Clothes. Motocross. ”Golf Boys.” Social Media.
I photographed Rickie Fowler in early December 2012 for the Golf Channel show “Playing Lessons” with host Holly Sonders. Fowler is a social media champion, keeping in touch with his 600K Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers.
Filming took place at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. Fowler and Sonders played a few golf holes at the private golf club. Members gathered around the clubhouse while they were walking down the 18th hole.
I brought along my Profoto 7B and Elinchrom Octobank. Fowler tweeted a photo of the Golf Channel crew after the film session, thanking everyone.
Fowler was kind enough to stick around for a few extra minutes after filming to pose for photos.
On a recent photography assignment with author James Patterson, I shared that I did some work with the Golf Channel. His next question was, “have you ever worked with Feherty?” I responded with, “many times.” ”What’s he like off camera?” Well…..
The first time I photographed David Feherty was for his show open on green screen at an Orlando, Florida studio. Golf Channel promotions people needed enough footage for the season and I was there making photos for advertising, marketing, social media and more. Feherty worked the cameras and comedy for several hours that day. I have photos of him blasting his own face with silly string, riding a bike and with his pants down like he’s taking a shit. This would set the tone for all photo shoots.
The next shoot with Feherty was also for a show open. It shows Feherty in a “psychiatrists” office. Feherty explains to her that “Yes, I really do have a show on Golf Channel.” The location used was a mansion outside of Dallas, Texas.
Here are the three things I’ll always remember from this shoot. While talking with David by his matte black Chevy pick up, he shared how closely he works with US veterans on weapon assembly, time spent on gun ranges and charity events. He created an organization called “Troops First Foundation.” The second memory is that Golf Channel asked me to make some pictures of Feherty on his cell phone. We created a few photos, but when he was done, he simply gave me the finger. I thought it was damn funny, since I got what I needed. Next, while filming in the “psychiatrist office,” Feherty decided to once again, pull down his pants and moon the doctor.
I then got my first opportunity to photograph an actual taping of “Feherty.” His guest was Lee Westwood. The interview portion was recorded at a neighbors home. If you’ve seen the show, you know about this crazy backyard. You’ll also see that once again, while filming in Westwood’s home under construction, Feherty drops his pants and asks for a little privacy in the unfinished bathroom.
Well…. “Mr. Patterson, every time I’ve photographed him he drops his pants, he’s given me the finger, he loves the US, he’s funnier off camera, he loves his family, loves people, jokes about genitalia, and is pretty much the funniest fucker I’ve ever met.”
Not the Robert Irvine I met…. I got a call to photograph celebrity chef Robert Irvine for a New York magazine. The Grand Bohemian hotel in Celebration, Florida would be the location for the photo shoot. The magazine asked for a portrait of Irvine and his beautiful bride Gail Kim. Irvine’s two daughters were also a part of the photo shoot. Irvine couldn’t have been any nicer. He’s a true pro in front of the camera. He made my photo shoot very fun and brought a lot of energy.
We created some photos in the kitchen of the Grand Bohemian, and then we went outside to the Bohemian’s balcony overlooking the water. The magazine story had to do with their recent marriage and relationship. They couldn’t have been any cuter together.
I lit the scene with a Profoto 7b and beauty dish. With all the highly reflective stainless steel in the kitchen, it’s best the keep your light source on the smaller side.
“If you FANCY the portrait assignment with writer James Patterson, the gig is yours Cy.” That was the offer from my Sunday Times editor in London, England. ”Since it’s Florida, we’d love to see some palm trees!”
I responded with “I’m available, and maybe Mr. Patterson has a guest house I can move into.”
I did my research to look for subject matter to talk about with Mr. Patterson. I don’t like to talk with my subject about what they’re best known for because they’re probably bombarded by those questions on a daily basis. After becoming a fan of his Facebook Fan Page, I saw that he recently had TWO holes in one. Bingo, golf is enough subject matter for me! I’ve played golf since the age of 10, and now do a lot of work with the Golf Channel.
I traveled down the Florida Turnpike a few days later on Monday, March 11th, 2013 with orlando videographer Craig Kotilinek. Our address revealed a gorgeous Palm Beach oceanfront mansion. A member from Mr. Patterson’s staff greeted us in the driveway, and showed us inside. We set up a Profoto 7B on a light stand, overlooking his front yard and the Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Patterson quickly came out of the kitchen and I introduced myself. ”Hello Mr. Patterson, my name is Cy.” He responded with “Nice to meet you Cy, call me Jim.”
Golf was immediately the subject matter as I asked Jim about his recent hole in ones. His eyes lit up. He told us all about them, and the golf competition he enjoys with his wife Sue.
It was downright shocking to hear that Jim still uses a pad a paper to write. I asked him if we could use them as a prop for a photo, he said they were upstairs in his office. I didn’t want to trouble him, but then he invited Craig and I upstairs to his office. I was amazed to see the inner workings of his business life. There were dozens of manuscripts and screenplays in progress. Everything was neatly labeled, and claims his assistant cleaned up the place a few short hours ago. It was fun to discover a golf photo of Jim golfing in Thailand, surrounded by yaks.
Back downstairs, it was amazing to see a huge print of Micahel Phelps beating Serbia’s Milorad Cavic in the 100 meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics. The photo was taken with an underwater camera by famed Sports Illustrated photographer Heinz Kluetmeier. Patterson’s wife is a former All-American national swimmer.
I talked Jim into going outside to make the portrait above.
In the hour I worked with him, I can tell you that he loves his family, loves to work, has no plans to retire, loves golf and enjoys sharing stories. He’s a great guy, and I already look forward to working with him again down the road.
To read an interview with James Patterson in the New York Times, view this Jonathan Mahler article from January 2010.
Here’s a link to our Sunday Times article, written by Ali Hussain titled ” Fame and Fortune: I like a thrill but hedge my bets.”
I photographed PNC’s Scott Wall at a studio in downtown Orlando. Scott is Vice President, Corporate & Institutional Banking, PNC Financial Services Group and president of ACG Orlando.
It was a great situation for a photographer. All I had to do for this quick studio shoot was bring my cameras. The lights were already up in this rental studio and mostly set in place. I tweaked the Alien Bee’s for a few minutes before Scott showed up, and I had him out of there in 45 minutes.
I was happy when Scott came in with a lot of energy and excitement for this photo shoot. Middle Market Growth magazine used 5 of my photos to go along with a Q&A from Scott.
Here’s a time lapse video from the 33rd floor of the Times Square Intercontinental Hotel on 44th and 8th. If you haven’t been, it’s amazing and close to everything.
The camera faces north. On the right side of the frame is the Milford Plaza. I haven’t been there, but the outside looks really cool! The video is playing at 60 frames a second. Unfortunately, when I left my hotel room, I forgot to turn off the lights. There was a massive glare starting to develop in the photos as time went on, so I had to cut it where this video ends. Lesson learned. To bad, because the next 100 frames are my favorite.
I tried to make the most out of my 30 hour work trip to Manhattan, and learned a few thing along the way.
This next video is from the same location, and was filmed the next morning on April 2, 2013. This is the sunrise that morning.
This night time lapse was taken on the night of April 1st, 2013 from the Intercontinental Hotel near Times Square in New York City, New York. It starts when it does because this is when I got back from dinner. It ends when it does because my batteries died in my Canon Mark III. Another lesson learned!
The real lesson is that maybe I should stick with portraits.
I first met Orlando model Lauren Thompson around 2005, a few years after moving to Orlando, Florida. The photos we took back then were for her website. Fast forward eight years. In the words of Lebron James, Lauren and I “took our talents” to Golf Channel. She’s one of the hosts of Morning Drive, Top Ten and Golf Now.
When Lauren needed photos for her upcoming website, she gave me a call. We met at Windermere Country Club at sunrise. Windermere CC is a beautiful track, just a short drive from downtown Orlando or the attractions. They also have a great staff and teaching facility.
Lauren’s makeup artist friend Summer joined us in creating the images you see. I had seen Summer’s name and photos for years here in Orlando, and it was finally nice to meet her!
We immediately went to the 18th hole, where a lone tree grows from a water hazard. The sun was rising and the fog on the water looked fantastic. I built my Profoto 7B with an Elinchrom 6′ octabank, and went to work. Working with Lauren is a photographers dream. There’s no coaching necessary.
We went to another hole for a different look, loverlooking water. Lauren changed in a gorgeous white dress, which you don’t see on the golf course everyday. I love the images we created. A simple white reflector was used for the backlit photos. I wonder if she got those green golf grips for the Masters???
We ended the photo session by having Lauren take some golf swings around the green and in the sand trap.
I’ve had the good fortune of working with Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders on many occasions. The most memorable assignments were with Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell as a part of her “Playing Lessons” show.
Holly worked with Rickie at Medalist, his home course in Jupiter, Florida. Holly and Rickie played several holes together with a Golf Channel film crew. After the action, they filmed a closing scene and then posed for photos on the 18th hole.
Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell filmed their playing lessons on the same day at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Lake Nona is a private community, home to many of golf’s greats. McDowell took the morning time slot. The duo talked on the practice range about preparation and then hit the course for putting, strategy and driving the ball.
It was Ian’s birthday on the day they were filming. Holly once again filmed on the practice facility at Lake Nona, then played a few different holes to talk about hitting driver, course maintenance, putting and goals. Make no mistake about it, Ian Poulter wants to win a major championship. In my opinion, Poulter is a breath of fresh air in a world of political correctness. I’ll be rooting for him.
Check out this video: Holly and Ian also had a friendly bunker competition. Holly chose the location, a 35 yard bunker shot, which wasn’t easy. Tune into the Golf Channel on April 16th to watch the first episode featuring Poulter. After the round, I took some photos of Holly and Ian together, which they both tweeted to their fans. And they were damn funny, including the one above. Gotta love the prom pose! When we were all done, everyone went back to the Lake Nona clubhouse and ate some birthday cake.
Congratulations to Sonders, who was recently featured on the cover of Golf Digest magazine for their May 2013 issue!
I don’t photograph much boxing, but Miguel Cotto is a beast. I watched the guy jump rope for an hour. He climbed a rope to the ceiling from a seated position. He threw jabs for 30 minutes. He brought his own music.
Cotto was training for a WBA light-middleweight fight against Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Cotto ended up losing the battle, his second consecutive loss. The other was against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Cotto has 37 wins (30 KO’s) and 4 losses in his career. He is a Puerto Rican and four time world champion in three divisions including light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.
The interview took place at ChampionsGate, a golf resort in Orlando, Florida. Two adjoining rooms were set up with monitors, make up, cameras and lighting.
On camera with Damon Hack, Christina spoke about her successes, upbringing, family, style and golf. She also spoke of her depression, which she wrote about in her blog last year. Her good friend Michelle Wei also stopped by the set, and spoke about her relationship with Christina. It was cool to be in the room with two of the games superstars.
Off camera, Christina took an interest in my Canon 5DMarkIII camera, and said she loves photography.
On the way to the next location to hit golf balls, I asked Christina if she had a minute to pose for a quick photo. (Above) Hotel staff was setting up some “grass” covered chairs for an event later in the day, and I simply thought it looked cool.
After a few jokes on the way back to her vehicle, Christina was on her way. It was a great experience with one of golfs brightest stars.
Follow Christina Kim on Twitter and Instagram @THECHRISTINAKIM
Follow Cy Cyr on Twitter and on Instagram @sportsphotographer