Author Archives: Joe McNally

Go Where the Light Already Is

The Kentucky Headhunters are an amazing, down home, rockin’ band. They’re also a helluva nice bunch of guys. Super talented. Grammy winners. A country rock institution. And, when you walk into their headquarters, visually, you get smacked right between the eyes. You look around and your first thought in this chock-a-block room, seen above, is “I gotta shoot in here!” And your second thought is, “How the hell am I gonna do that?” It’s beautifully busy, this room. And it’s got reflective, glossy 8×10’s all over the place, polished guitars, and even some vinyl tacked to the wall of memories.…

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Trump and Biden-Two Magazines, Two Approaches….

This is not a political blog, saints be praised. I talk about Group A, Channel 1, and stuff like that, not the results of the latest polls. But the life of a photographer is punctuated with encounters, large and small. And you make pictures of these encounters! That’s the job. Trump for Newsweek, Biden for People. Different magazines, different approaches. Trump was a week long encounter, Biden just a day or so. Trump was in color, with lights and an assistant. Biden was by myself, no flash, working with window light. I’m a generalist, doing what the job requires, so…

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Growing Up, Growing Old….

Photos courtesy of John Young We all grow old, if we are fortunate. It’s a given, the aging process. We do not all grow up. That’s more of an optional condition. Now, growing up in certain areas of your life—love, being a provider, being a parent, being responsible to others, being decent in the general conduct of your life—is a good thing. But in terms of the exuberance with which one embraces one’s craft, i.e. the making of pictures, well, that’s another thing altogether. When you consider the happenstance of this profession, the up and down nature of it, the…

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So, What Happens In Vegas….

Doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Especially the silliness. PhotoShop World, that anchor event in the photo calendar, always has a theme, wrapped in a mini-movie of purposefully dubious production values. This year riffed on Wayne’s World, with the redoubtable Scott Kelby doing a very convincing, capable Wayne and Corey Barker doing just a remarkablably loopy version of Garth Algar, Dana Carvey’s character. Corey is a wonderful artist and PhotoShop master. Who knew he could do goofy this well? Especially at this PSW, when he got inducted into the PhotoShop Hall of Fame? Especially with his mom in the audience?…

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World Photo Day

Just passed. Like so many attempts I’ve made at pictures themselves in the course of my career, I missed it. But I ruminated about it on the plane today, and thought I’d at least publish a favorite photo on the blog today. A picture for the day after. It is unpublished. Very typically, a large part of the story of a photographer’s life is written in those pictures that rarely, or never, see the light of day. That’s okay, really. The pictures that get run in big magazines become a communal experience, which is all to the good, and actually…

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Fashion! NYC! TTL!

We photogs are known to lavish attention on our gear, and ascribe to it virtually human qualities. “That’s a beautiful lens.” “That soft box makes gorgeous light.” Descriptions can be fevered, bordering on irrational, occasionally. I am guilty of this, just as almost everyone is who has labored as a photographer. At the end of the day, though, the things we use are tools, and like any job, you hopefully choose appropriately. Small, light and fast is often the mantra of an assignment. Very occasionally we get called on to do a heavier production job, and that requires a different…

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