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 heâ€™d just come from brunch with his aunt.Â
It struck me that background talent would help bring the picture alive, and re-enforce the context for the narrative at the same time. Iâ€™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 â€œMr. Jackson,â€ and then she went and looked at some books in the childrenâ€™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, â€œWhy is Mr. Jackson not holding me?â€ Good to see sheâ€™s already bonding with the key talent.
See full post here: The Chris Buck2014-06-03.