May 7 2010 I flew out to Los Angeles for a couple of days to do some business, and also take some time for myself to see my old stomping grounds in Hollywood where I used to live. Most of my time was spent around the Wilshire Blvd area of Beverly Hills with some meetings at Elite Model Management, Ford Models in West Hollywood, as well as Nous Model Management and Next Models on Rodeo Drive. After the meetings, I went down to see some friends at Slickforce Studio in Downtown L.A. and go grab a bite and a beer.
I spent the night and headed out the next day to Hollywood to see my old place and where I used to go to school back when I was in the music business. Actually, a lot was still the same, but I was pleased with the new Kodak Theatre that was put in next to Mann's Chinese Theatre. Plenty of great shopping and food, all in one area with very clean decor and a welcome atmosphere. Hollywood is a very touristy place, so I didn't want to stick around long. My old apartment building was still there, and everything looked the same as it did almost 20 years ago when I was fresh out of high school and moved to L.A. I even had dinner at one of my favorite pizza places, Shakey's Pizza. They still got it.
I headed out to Rodeo Drive to shoot some back plate stuff for some upcoming projects and to enjoy window shopping in the perfect weather. One of the most interesting things about this area is you never know who you are going to see. I walked right past Perez Hilton, on his way to some thing he had going on involving calling the paparazzi down to hang out as background extras in a TV segment for some comedy show. I'm not at all impressed by celebrities, nothing disrespectful to them, it's just that I'm not into that whole thing. However, one thing that I do enjoy is seeing professional models and photographers at work. While I was shooting, I noticed another shoot going on across the street involving a model, and several other personnel. They were just shooting on the sidewalk in public without any interference from the public and no security. I noticed that they were using a laptop on a tripod, So I walked over to what they were using to hold it on there securely. I walked right passed the model (they were in between takes) and thought she looked familiar, but couldn't place her. I'm pretty up on who most professional models are and since I didn't exactly know her, I figured she must be a local model. It turned out to be Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, one of the 2010 Victoria's Secret models, as well as a fashion/editorial/catalog model from the U.K. She's on the cover of the Victoria's Secret Swimwear catalog, as well as in photos all over the stores. I knew she looked familiar! They were shooting a fall catalog for a U.K. client, and were using Rodeo Drive as the background.
I asked the photographer, named Ben Watts (Australia, New York) if I could hang around and do my thing, and he didn't mind as long as I didn't take any hi-rez shots of Rosie. I'm totally cool with that, but other's aren't. It wasn't long before a few people gathered, which interested more people and soon there was a small crowd. One guy was just sapping away with his DSLR, which really aggravated the photo crew. He had every right t shoot, because they are in public, but it's just bad form to shoot someone else's project and have it all over the net before the client even has their photos published. I watched for a while as Rosie did her thing, walking down the sidewalk, spinning, smiling a lot, and generally just trying to get the best shots. It was fun to just hang out and watch the pro's do their thing. I took only one picture- of the crew- with my iPhone and the quality is so bad that I'm not even worried about getting on anyone's nerves. Rosie is in the shaded area, but again, you can't even see her so I'm cool with it. All in all I really enjoyed getting back to L.A. and look forward to next time I'm out there.
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