As a big fan of Grease and the music of Olivia Newton Johnit was a great honor and pleasure for me to photograph her in her house near Los Angeles.
I personally think that when you photograph people in colour, details of their surroundings, clothing, etc. can often distract from the person themselves. But if you photograph them in black and white, the shot creates a much deeper view into the soul.
That's why it was clear to me that the photos of Olivia would also be predominantly black and white. As always, I prepared myself for the photo shoot, and looked at current photos of her or informed myself on Olivia's Instagram etc.
It's not about how she looks now, but rather about her preferences and what she has just done, so that she has some clues for the shooting. As a photographer you should act like a director on the set and also know how to get a deep insight into the soul of the person photographed in order to create a successful photo.
And here we come again to my most important insight for you, namely that taking pictures is so much more than just pressing a shutter button.
So I was well prepared, but then the following happened on the morning of the photo shoot. I got up from my bed, walked through the bedroom and those who have had the following can now feel with me - I suffered a huge Lumbago that I could barely move. My wife helped me back up, just an hour before the assistant came. I googled which exercises would help immediately, but of course nothing helped. With pain I went to Olivia's farm, which is located 2 hours outside of L.A.
Once there, the big gate opened and only a few minutes later Olivia came towards us. She noticed immediately that something was wrong, and without hesitation, she helped me. Her husband, who is a medical doctor, took me to her bedroom where he treated me with creams and a short massage, and lo and behold, my back loosened up. While my assistant set up light and set, I went for a walk to relax my back even more before our photo shoot started.
I had 3 settings in Olivia's house, two neutral backgrounds in black and white, and a setting in the living room with a piano and her guitars in the background. After the shooting we had tea with Olivia and had a wonderful & unforgettable conversation!
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump
Please stay healthy, at home and positive!
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