Would You Like An Olive With That? 50 Cent has a complex persona…

Would You Like An Olive With That?
50 Cent has a complex persona...

Would You Like An Olive With That?
50 Cent has a complex persona...

Would You Like An Olive With That?

50 Cent has a complex persona – a drug dealer past, success as a rapper and a burgeoning career as a self-help author – so there was a lot to draw on for our GQ story on him as a Life Coach. The assignment was to photograph him in a book store, and I wanted to do my best to make the environment feel fresh and surprising. Even with his wardrobe, I suggested that Fifty look like he’d just come from brunch with his aunt. 

It struck me that background talent would help bring the picture alive, and re-enforce the context for the narrative at the same time. I’m not usually inclined to get my cute four-year-old onto my professional shoots, but this situation seemed made for it. During a break I introduced her to “Mr. Jackson,†and then she went and looked at some books in the children’s section until we were ready for her. Once we got some good ones of Fifty we brought Olive in for a few background plates.

In the end the magazine decided that a simpler scene made for a more iconic portrait. I know my bias, but I still think that the shot is better with a sweet redhead on the edge of the frame.

Top Two Images: You decide – it is better with or without Olive in the shot? All kidding aside the shoot was a joy to work on, with propping by Jared Lawton, a fabulous location in the Greenlight Bookstore (of Fort Greene, Brooklyn) and working alongside top-notch photo editor Michael Allin.

Bottom Image: Me, Olive and Fifty. When I showed this picture to her later Olive asked, “Why is Mr. Jackson not holding me?†Good to see she’s already bonding with the key talent.

See full post here: The Chris Buck2014-06-03.