Many good memories came from this job that included two equally famous musicians in their respected genres. One of the celebrities was the subject, Maestro Placido Domingo. The other celebrity was the photographer, pop music man Bryan Adams. At photo shoots, ego and power can be touchy at times. So, to have two strong individuals plus an international client, Phonak, competing for a great photo was an interesting dynamic. As we eagerly waited for the arrival of the Maestro, catering had left a beautiful spread of food for us to enjoy. I particularly liked the funny little fruit. After I commented on how yummy they tasted, Bryan said jokingly, “You don’t get out much do you? Where did you grow up? Don’t you know those are fresh figs? They’re an aphrodisiac”. Well, I thought to myself, where’s my husband? Although it was a bit embarrassing, the whole experience around Bryan and his crew was like a page from a typical day in junior high school. The boys crowded around and Bryan said as I approached, “Here she comes…(don’t say anything).” Later they bantered about some beautiful girl in NYC and how tall she was and how gorgeous she was. Maybe she is the subject material for his upcoming tour in the D.C. area in April. He sure can write and perform amazing ballads for movies. Mr. Adams was also polite enough to help me with my bags at the end of the photoshoot.
Finally, Maestro arrived in a whirlwind having come off the red eye from California. He was in no mood for pictures. As he moved through the hallway of the Washington National Opera’s facilities, he insisted he would not do the shoot. To which I replied, “Oh, please look. The photographer is all setup and ready. He can do it quickly. You’ll be done in no time.” Maestro paused. The urgency melted away. Then he said, “Anything for a beautiful woman!”. He is so suave and debonair, a man in his 70’s, still working his magic. The Maestro was engaging and entertaining the rest of the shoot. In regards to the grooming we did, he joked about adding “More pepper to his salt.” So I did. I took black mascara and swiped it over the gray.
When it came time for the photoshoot to begin, it was almost a disaster. Maestro commented to Bryan Adams as they met, “Aren’t you known for your music (not photography)?”. It was an honest question. Arguably, the first photos coming onto the computer monitor were questionable. The photo editor began to panic. We all must have been thinking the same thing. Bryan Adams is known for his singing not his photography after all. The photographer’s assistants, along with Bryan, changed the lighting and the angle of the subject. With time, subject and photographer did come together. In the end, a great photo was achieved. Although he doesn’t have the technical knowledge for photography, Bryan Adams knows how it feels to be a famous celebrity, who doesn’t like having his picture taken and that was his inspiration and reward for capturing a memorable moment with Maestro Placido Domingo. The two famous musicians respect for one another was sealed with a phone call to Bryan’s father, who is a huge fan of Domingo’s.