I was sitting at home alone late on Saturday night watching movies when I got a text message from Tom Bull telling me to be on the 6:00 flight out to Los Angeles the next morning. I went to sleep for a couple of hours, woke up, taxied to La Guardia airport and caught the first plane out. Two things made it the easiest trip ever: I got upgraded to first class from New York to Philadelphia (pure luxury for 20 minutes), then was given an entire row to myself from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Tom is here in LA shooting the Jean de Merry furniture campaign with Tony Duran and thought I’d enjoy the arresting visuals on offer. Besides that one shoot I did with Tom for Barkers’ 1972 magazine a few months back, I’ve never seen the guy in action but he is a consummate professional on set (as opposed to the Australian larrikin I know him as in real life).
It’s always fascinating to watch a top photographer work, and Tony Duran is great value. He flies the models in a couple of days early so that he can get to know them and fully prep them on what’s to come. This is a guy who’s shot everyone from Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Beyonce to Brad Pitt, Jude Law and Tom Cruise (and literally, so many more), but he’ll still take the time to take a nervous new-face model aside and give them one-on-one attention in order to get the right shot. (For the record, Tom wasn’t the nervous new-face model.) I took a sneaky peek at the computer after the retoucher had downloaded the cards and even raw and untouched, it looked insane. This will be a furniture campaign the likes of which ye have never seen.