I’ve often been asked what a still photographer does on the set. The answer is that we are hired to document the filming of a production from start to finish. Of course, this includes recording what is going on in front of the camera but also what goes on behind it.
As part of our job, we also do set, stills, and makeup stills that are very important to the continuity of the film. Our work is used for all of the film’s marketing and advertising campaigns that will include posters, magazines, newspapers, billboards, books, and merchandise.
For me, the best thing about the job was that you are “a committee of one”, and very few people know what you are really doing there. Much of the cooperation and friendship that I have gotten over the years comes from the acting talent that has received the 11×14 prints that I give them early on in the production. You would be amazed at how much that helps.
For the most part, I always felt I had the best job on the set specially when I worked with Steve McQueen and Sylvester Stallone where I had full control over what I did and who saw it. It was a great job as long as you were completely prepared and paid attention to what was going on around you.
Being a still photographer was one of the most challenging of my many life experiences, as I never knew what tomorrow would bring.