What? You never heard of him?
Nope. I never heard of him. Not till I got the assignment to shoot him. Shoot with my camera, of course.
There are many names I didn’t know till I got the assignments to shoot their owners. Ben Foster, G.E.M., the Vidal twin sisters, Michael Wong, Francis Ng Chun-yu, Joseph Chang Hsiao-chuan… Forgive my ignorance. But nowadays there are simply way too many famous people for me to notice and remember.
One name I did know before I photographed its owner is Lang Lang, the pianist. A friend of mine is a big fan of him, telling me many times that he is a rare genius human kind produces only once every three hundred years. I have other friends who think Lang Lang is too flashy for classical music, though. After the photo shoot, many people, reporters, PRs, and students went crazy about having a selfie with the famous pianist. A PR, who was very friendly and kind to me, kept motioning me for a selfie, too. “Come! Come!” She waved her hand and whispered excitedly. I smiled and shook my head, then proceeded to pack up my gear. It was quite late by the time we finished covering his talk at HKU, then a small group interview, then the shoot. Cold and hungry, I was eager to go home and eat and rest.
Yesterday, a PR and a few fellow journalists seemed shocked when I said I never heard of Jeremy Renner before. They kindly educated me about this Hollywood star and his works till I felt like I should watch at least one movie by him.
We were granted a 20-minute interview with Mr. Renner at Macau Culture Center. While a journalist was having a selfie with Mr. Renner after her interview with him, I took out my lighting gear for the photo shoot, when a woman, probably an American, said, “the photo shoot was not approved!” She sounded upset and vexed. I looked at her, surprised. Did I come all the way from Hong Kong only to be told that the planned photo shoot was not allowed? I turned to look at the kind PR who accompanied me from from HK to Macau. He frowned, shook his head and smiled apologetically. I turned back to the upset and vexed woman, who repeated, “the photo shoot was not approved! Ok, fifteen minutes interview, then two minutes for photo shoot.”
I quickly put together my light stand, flash, and umbrella, set it next to Mr. Renner, hoping to snap a few shots during the interview, in case something went wrong during the two minutes I was granted.
The woman gave me an ugly look. I decided not to upset her further and didn’t take any photos during the interview without her permission. When she sat down on a chair behind me, I turned to her and whispered, “is it ok I snap a few shots during the interview?”
“No!” She frowned. (So that now all I remember about her is her vexed voice and her wrinkles from frowning.)
She kept her eyes on her watch when I photographed Mr. Renner. And she kept her promise of two minutes.