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From The Archives: Actor/Director David Schwimmer

I had a great shoot a few months back with actor David Schwimmer of FRIENDS fame for a New York Times article. These days he’s directing movies and living in Manhattan with his wife and his new baby daughter.

Anyhow, as usual I wasn’t given much information about what or where I could or couldn’t shoot because my editors are working with his  publicists. In general, the more people it takes to schedule a shoot, less information makes it’s way to me. Par for the course. I was simply told to meet David at the 92Y Tribecca.

Because I didn’t know exactly where I could shoot or how much time I’d have to bang out a portrait, I enlisted the help of my friend and fellow photographer Charles Ludeke. We arrived about 20 minutes early and checked out the neighborhood around the 92Y and quickly found a nearby location with a pedestrian bridge over the West Side Highway and a street with very little foot or car traffic. I took a few test shots of Charles before we headed back to the rendezvous where we were to met up with David.

Once David arrived, he was entirely friendly, non-rushed, and talkative. We really hit it off as his wife is also a photographer and we had a nice and somewhat geeky conversation about camera gear. He’s now familiar with DSLR cameras, using them for some of his productions.

For the most part, all the portraits I took were natural light with an extremely shallow depth of field. I used the city, streets, buildings, and bridge as a backdrop. I did break out a strobe (Canon 580) for one setup, but it was very simple. In fact, my assistant Charles became a human light stand and held the light for me.

All and all, I had a nice time and productive shoot. A few weeks before David had his new baby, he kindly invited me out to lunch to a restaurant in Greenwich Village. Not surprisingly he’s a great guy and just as friendly as he seems on the big screen.


David Schwimmer – Images by Robert Caplin

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3 Comments
  1. 07/17/2011
    Joel Rudy

    Akways enjoy following your career and experiences. I am so very proud of the long time friendship we share. Continued best wishes. Joel

  2. 09/8/2011

    I stumbled across your site from a google search of “photographer to cinematographer” (I’m trying to go from being a visual arts teacher to move into your field) and I am thoroughly impressed with your stuff. Your site is now firmly ensconced into my favourites bar and I will be looking forward to your new work popping up on here.

    (I always had the feeling that Mr. Schwimmer was probably a nice guy in real life.)

    Keep up the inspirational work!

    Cheers.

  3. 11/8/2011

    Thanks for this great tip (the one lighting David Schwimmer with the lone flash).
    Awesome photos on your site!
    Cheers!