Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'M PUBLISHED ON Us for a Mariah & Nick Cannon Photo I took Thursday Night

DATE NIGHT Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon left rehearsals for Fashion Rocks in New York City on Thursday.Credit: Hugh Dillon/WENN
Plus I am in the NY Times today on page B3. Not a photo I took, but a photo of me and my friends as someone takes a photo of a celebrity. (Thanks Chris Gabello good eye)

Friday, September 5, 2008

FASHION ROCK NEW YORK CITY 2008 re: Fashion Week Spring 2009 week continues

This is the one big event that makes that chaos of Fashion week well worth it
My friend Matthew Vlahos was in NYC on Tuesday and shot what will eventually
look something like this when I step on to it's red carpet to set up my camera and capture the beautiful people tonight (Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Rhianna) at Fashion Rocks 2008 at Radio City Music Hall at 4PM (thats what time I have to be there; then arrivals are at 5PM when you are just getting out of work)
Before I became a celebrity photographer I watched the action from across the street, vowing that someday I would be on the other side shooting the celebrities, instead of getting a lot of
hands (Denise Richards and Ritchie Sambora, so you know it wasn't that long ago - LOL)
and heads (The still married Baby Phat's Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons)After a lot of hard work, and a lot of luck and being in the right place, that day finally came last year when I was credentialed to shoot from the red carpet and get
Mary J. Blige to finally get me some fashion and a smile. Everytime I tried to shoot her as a fan she blew me off.

Ashlee Simpson after nose job, before pregnancy (every time I tried to shoot her as a fan, she blew me off)Russell Simmons and J-Lo before pregnancy announcement (Russell is a great guy; J-lo diva, but great on the red carpet, fun in between shots, funny, but then puts on the act and the potty lips when she needs to [Kimora Lee super, super nice; never responds when I send her a request to shoot her fashion shows, but I love her anyway])
Nicole Ritchie, the first photos of her pregnant (too thin and vapid)

Mischa Barton, no one wants to get her pregnant (very nice; posed for me as a fan, and does it up for the cameras too)Tyra, is she even a women? Ok stop. This Tyra shot was the first photo I had published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and in Michael Klein's column; So happy 1 year anniversary to INQlings and me!! I've had a photo in MK's column almost every week for over a year.
I may if I have the time, publish photos I take over the next 5 days in NYC during Fashion Week, otherwise I will have a recap on Monday of the weekend events. Tomorrow I am photographing Charlize Theron, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny and who knows who I will come across; otherwise it's back to my favorite subject Philadelphia on Tuesday as I will be covering the Pioneer Awards at the Kimmel Center on Tuesday night bringing on the excitement back to you for Wednesday morning. Thanks for reading about my Fashion Weeks adventures. HughE

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DAVID LETTERMAN re: Monday Letterman does two tapings

One of the things I like to do when I am in NYC during my celebrity shooting jaunts is visit the David Letterman show which tapes Mon - Thurs in the afternoon. Today I will be catching Robin Williams at the Letterman stage door about 4PM, and Shannen Doherty leaving about 4:20PM On Mondays Letterman tapes twice, the Monday show and Friday's show.
It's here you will find Rupert, who is often featured on the Letterman Show, behind the counter of the "Hello Deli" which is located on the ground floor of Letterman's studio at 53rd Street
Rarely, if ever do will you see David Letterman, unless he does something with a guest outside. I think I saw him twice in the 18 months I lived in NYC. He goes in very early, and leaves in the middle of the night. My friends Simon and Katie who live across the street have seen him a couple times on his way out, and often it's near midnight. Maybe he watches his monologue and then leaves for the night. Here's the stage door. I am on the side where the fans wait for the celebrity guest to come out of the door. Usually the celebrity will stop and sign autographs for the fans, and "professional autograph dealers"
and pose for photos
On the otherside are the professional photographerswho arrive early, and in vast numbers for the "A" List celebrities. Usually the blond, young, notoriously written about girls bring out the crowds. When shooting events in NYC, I have to carry a mini ladder with me, in addition to what is called in the business a turtle, which is a tiny plastic 1 step stool.
Kate Hudson

That all important "Fashion Shot" that the magazines want photographers to captureSometimes Philly's South Jersey's own Kelly Ripa comes out those doors.

After catching the taping of David Letterman I usually run over to either Conan O'Brien's stage door or Jon Stewart's The Daily Show's stage door to catch their departing celebrities about 6:30PM. Most celebrities leaving these venues enjoy being photographed, as they are usually appearing on TV to promote something, and these photos are usually published in the mags about a week later, which just stretches out the pr for their product.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Bryant Park is a 9.603 acre (39,000 m²) privately-managed public park located in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is bounded by Fifth Avenue, Sixth Avenue, 40th Street and 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. Twice a year Bryant Park is magically transformed into "The Tents" where the NY Fashion Week is held. This week I will be photographing celebrities that attend the Spring 2009 shows. For the next few days Philly Chit Chat will give you a glimpse of what goes on at NY Fashion Week Fall 2009 and what I can expect to encounter this season again. Arguably the city's most glamorous event, is Fashion Week which involves 80 designer runway shows held in the 65,000-square-foot white tents in Bryant Park; other daily shows take place in venues throughout the city. The event is expected to attract over 100,000 people and generate around $235 million for the city. I think the one question people ask me the most, how can I get in to see a show?

Many events will be by invitation only. No invitation, no access. If you are a legitimate member of the press you can request coverage of the event but this may also be limited to amount of press and to where you can go. Legitimate means your work, writings, photos, video footage, appear regularly in a venue or several venues. It could be your own venue. If you are an employee of standing either in the retail, magazine, internet, or television worlds, you may get an invitation but even this is no guarantee depending on space. If you are not "important" enough to be invited check with your fellow workers, your boss or your network of connections for an extra invitation. In the past few seasons other opportunities for obtaining tickets have become available; before I became a legitamate member of the press, I traded in AMEX points (60,000 points) to see the DVF 2006 show with my friend Katie. For each show the fashion tent is completely transformed. Usually the seats behind us are white, but here they have been covered in brown hotel packages W Hotel’s Fashion Week packages or you could bid on a charity auctions that might pop up on Ebay. Another way to get into these tents is to get a job or volunteer. Many listings for various intern positions are listed in Craigslist 2 or 3 months prior to the shows. It's in this are that I am allowed to photograph celebrites that come to the shows.
This is the grand entrance to "The Tents"; there are three tents underneath this big top; The Salon, where smaller, newer designer show, The Promenade, a medium size space and then the grand "The Tent" where bigger names hold their events, Heatherette, Donna Karan or Diane Von Furstenburg. New York primarily showcases American or New York-based designers, with a sprinkling of designers from Australia, England, Spain and Russia joining them.

"If you want to do business in New York," says Fern Mallis, senior VP of IMG, the firm that produces fashion week, "you show in New York."

The photographers wait in this pen to be allowed into one of four rooms which hold the fashion shows. The wait time is time consuming at no less than 30 minutes. It's a pain. This is also an area where I would wait so I can shoot the "Front Row" celebrities. Front Row is usually reserved for A Listers, editors, close friends and relatives of the designer. On the first day of the fashion shows, these same photographers have marked off the spot where they are going to shoot, and a freelancer like me would never dare invade their territory, it's a cut throat business and I have seen many a fight over an inch.

The models dressing room

In between shows the runway is recovered in a white plastic so it looks brand spanking new. This is the smallest room, The Salon. At the end of this hallway is the stage door (which I will write about tomorrow). There is also a group of photographers lying in wait for any celebrity that may come there way, and

after the show they are allowed to go into the "W Hotel" VIP Room where celebrities and designers go to relax after the show. For the little folk (hotel package or trading in points) our VIP lounge is just as impressive, but no celebrities. Although Fern Mallis did sit next to me on the couch.
Damien from MTV's TRL

As I mentioned before my primary job is to photograph the celebrities. In this shot I didn't recognize Bob Colacello friend of Andy Warhol, editor of Interview Magazine (Which by the way I will be going to the Interview Party during fashion week where they will introduce their newly revamped magazine and cover girl - Kate Moss)
Welcome to my world. To shoot the runway at fashion week, I stand on a ladder praying to God that HughE doesn't topple over and cause a domino effect to the photographers I just made friends with as I stood in place for 45 minutes before the show starts. But it's fashion week and I love it!!

These are a few photos I took of the Red Dress Fashion show from the position I was in the above photo, standing on someone's camera suitcase because I was in the last row and their was only about 2 feet of surface and had I put my ladder down I could have easily been knocked off and into the tent and then on the ground. Below is Ana Ortiz, this photo appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, as Ana, who is on Ugly Betty, grew up in Philadelphia.Jenna Fischer from the Office. The Red Dress event is held annually and kicks off Fashion Week and Women and Heart Disease Month.

Liza Minelli being greeted by Heidi Klum with Camryn Manhein in the foreground.Here's a few shots that I took at the Diane Von Furstenburg show last year. I was bad and used a flash for this one as I wanted to capture all the rows. Now these folks were a good 100 feet away from me. Front row - Barry Diller, Ellen Barkin and writer Fran Lebowitz (who never wears anything but her trademark black sports coat, black pants and white shirt) Top celebrity front row sitters who are in demand: Katie Holmes and BFF Posh Spice herself, Victoria Beckham. Since marrying Tom Cruise, Katie’s stock has gone way up, and she can ask for $50,000 to sit in the front row, before the marriage Katie barely got photographed. I doubt Ellen Barkin charged her best friend DVF anything.
The Devil Wear's Prada herself - Anna Wintour editor of Vogue. Many designers dole out as much as $500,000 and take six months to plan and prepare for their 10-minute presentations.
The fashion shows replace the park's lawn twice a year, following the shows, which is what gives Bryant Park one of the world's best lawns. Here's Cherry Hill's Ali Larter leaving the Calvin Klein show.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NYC FASHION WEEK FALL 2008 re: what's it like outside the tents where the celebrities roll in?

I used to write about my celebrities on my celebrity blog Confessions of a Paparazzi but I put that to rest last month to focus on Philly Chit Chat, but I thought you might be interested to know the behind the scenes confessions of a celebrity photographer during fashion week.As the last of the summer sun settles on New York, fashion designers will present their spring 2009 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, beginning on Friday in Bryant Park. The week will include America's most recognized designers — Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein. It also will showcase the designers, such as Phillip Lim, Tracy Reese, and Tibi. Fashion Week is always the first Friday after Labor Day. (This is the front entrance, sometimes celebs will go through the front door, but most go through the stage door so they don't have to hob nob with the regular folk who are quued in massive lines that to get through the doors)Below are "The Tents" that are Fashion Week in Bryant Park; a park about the size of the land Phila City Hall sits on. This is the back view or the Stage Door view. It is here where I will spend a lot of my time, when I am not inside shooting the front row, or even shooting the shows that I want to shoot just for fun. For fun I say, because my job is to photograph the celebrities wearing all the designer clothes.

This is 40th Street and the sidewalk entrance to the tents. These are my co-workers for the week. Some of them are good friends, most are decent people who love what they do, and some could care less about the person they just stepped on to get Tanya Harding's lousy photo. (OK Tanya would never be invited to The Tents). They are waiting for the next SUV with the Olsen's or Sophia Hill to pull up.
It has always perplexed me why the fashion show coordinators never put security gates in place to safely walk the celebrity to the "stage door". Security gates would allow the celebrity safe entry, and would separate the press from the mobs of people that tend to gather when there's a commotion. The bigger celebrity, the bigger the mess for all of us as you will see...
The celebrity has to walk about 300 feet from curb to door, in the begining of the week it isn't so bad, but as word gets out to the tourist in Times Square, a few blocks away, this park becomes Time Square for the remainder of the week.
After navigating the park, the celebrity must then navigate the New Yorkers who turn their noses up at celebrities and then refuse to vacate the picnic tables and chairs that often block the entryway, because "Well they're no better than us" (see Gawker Stalker).
Sometimes, the celebrity and models are often asked to sign autographs or pose for photos with fans, which is great for the fans, not so great for the photographers who know they only have a few spare seconds to get the photo they need for that day of that person.
We interrupt this entry to say that Kurt Cobain never goes out of style!!Here is Anne Hathaway and her convict boyfriend making their way to the stage door. Often I have to navigate around other photographers. Every year I promise to drop a human to do so, and every year I return to fashion week wondering if I am always running after these people, I must be eating to much at the buffet of life.
The press/media gets a list everyday that tells us who is going to show up. The celebrity is paid between $10,000 and $50,000 to make an appearance. They arrive either decked out in the designers duds, that had be sent to them earlier in the week, or they put on one of their outfits backstage.
Terri Hatcher wants to be photographed, she just wants the pandemonium to settle down so everyone can get a shot. Sadly this runway rarely has organization, but eventually things do calm down and we all can get a shot.

I am just in the wrong place, I am just not aggressive, but things usually work out for me. There are too many heads in the way for me to get the "Fashion Shot"
It's on the rare occasion that a celebrity will get a police escort, but these men in blue were happy to give one to porn star Jenna Jameson. (This photo of mine appeared in Star magazine)JC Chasez waves hi. He's wearing DVF and he want's it to be published.
Rose McGowan
knows that if her fashion shot has a chance at getting in the glossies
she has to take off her coat even when it's 30F out in February
Singer Jo-Jo. This shot was corrected in photoshop, but the lamp behind her and the brillant sunshine just spoiled the photo.
The top chef knows how to make an entrance leaving her coat in the car. Padma Lakshmi is known internationally as an actress, food expert, model and award-winning writer

Amy Smart in Herve Ledger which I photographed and it appeared in Us Magazine under the Cranberry Dresses segment. People always want to know how much I make on a shot like this, it's not as much as people think, those days are over as the competition is tough and Amy Smart has her underwear on, get the picture, the more scandalous, the more you negate your values and conscience, you get the photo the public is willing to pay to see, then you make the money. If this was one of those photos, you don't just make the big money on one sale, but repeated sales. As for Amy this was the only sale of this photo did I make.The designer and her mogul husband, Diane Von Furstenburg and media giant & rumor to be part of the velvet mafia, Barry Diller

Remember these fans, they are pushing 12 hrs of celebrity watching and her tiera is barely tarnished. Here the Paris Hilton wanabes pose with the Heatherette gang, Richie Rich and Traver RainsI've met some characters over the past 5 seasons including David Jr. who has really made strides in the entertainment field. I look forward to running into all my characters later this week, and catch up on where life has brought us. Me I'm exhausted, it's time for a vacation.So if you want to catch the action NY Fashion Week Fall 2009 is at Bryant Park 9/5 - 9/12. You are guaranteed to see a celebrity or two and it won't be so bad until about Tuesday, when the rest of NY catches on. Stay tuned to Philly Chit Chat as I try to post daily the daily going ons...for the rest of the world their lives just go on as if nothing is happening around them.Tomorrow we go inside the tent.