Olivia Newton John and my lumbago!

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.
Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann 01
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.Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann 18

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.

Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann 22It'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.
Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann blog 2

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.

Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann 09So 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.

Olivia Newton John 2019 by Manfred Baumann BlogOnce 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.

Olivia Newton John 2019 behind the scene Manfred Baumann 02I 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!

Your Manfred

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24 thoughts on "Olivia Newton John and my lumbago!

  1. An impressive report and very nice photos, quite different from the many cramped "artist living room gigs" at the moment, thanks for your effort. Best regards and stay healthy, Rainer

  2. Great writing, Manfred. I wish I had been there.
    She was always my heartthrob... 🙂

  3. Great report, super nice shooting and thank god you are feeling better again! What a luck that her husband is a doctor and could help so quickly; stay healthy, at home and positive, many kind regards

  4. I've been a huge Livvy fan since the early 70s and your B&W photos are some of my favourite s ever. You can see and feel the beauty of Olivia physically and spiritually. A beautiful face and soul. Thank you for spreading some joy to Olivia fans everywhere in this difficult time. Stay well and safe.

  5. A wonderful photo series from one of the greatest souls in show business. Thanks for sharing and stay healthy! When was the shoot with Olivia? Many greetings from NRW.

  6. Thanks for taking me to the shoot. All photos are beautiful. But you're right, in the black and white photos she shines much more. I think you can feel her soul. You can see that Olivia is a special person.

    1. That's her! Thanks for reading and commenting! Stay positive & healthy! All the best Manfred

  7. I love your work, or rather photographs. Proudly ordered an original print of you yesterday. I am looking forward to it!

    1. I'm glad. The signed print is on its way to you. I am looking forward to a photo of my photo when it hangs on the wall 😉

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