Breakfast of Champions…at Tiffany’s
A few years back in 2008 I received a last-minute assignment to run to Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue to document a party already in process: the NFL Champion New York Giants were receiving their Superbowl rings. I quickly suited up and cabbed down to the famous jewelry store to find the entire team celebrating their new bling. As a freelance photographer, it’s always fun finding myself in these random situations…one minute I’m in my boxers watching TV on my couch and the next I’m in formal attire amidst the Superbowl-winning Giants.
That assignment stuck with me for years and I knew I wanted to shoot it again. So when I saw earlier this year that the Giants were again playing in the Superbowl, I called my friends at the New York Times with a pitch to again shoot the ring ceremony (should the Giants win), but this time with the idea to set up a photo booth. Fortunately for me, the Giants won the Superbowl and my editors at The Times liked the idea and made it happen.
The ring ceremony didn’t take place until mid-May, so I had to twiddle my thumbs for a while. When the date finally came, there was some difficulty getting access, even though it had been approved months in advance and even confirmed days/hours before the event itself. Sometimes part of making your way in the photography business isn’t just about creating pretty photos, but it’s also dealing with PR agents and being able to keep calm and work your way though issues that may arise.
Originally I was told I would be able to set up a photo booth on the floor where I’d have all the players walk through and snap their own photo with the help of my pal and assistant Mike Isler, while at the same time roaming the floor of Tiffany’s documenting the players having a good time. When we arrived hours in advance we were denied access and told to come back when the event started. When we returned, we were told that we didn’t have the access we were promised. This kind of thing happens all too often.
After a bunch of back and fourth, I was able to gain access, but far too late to successfully get the whole team through my photo-booth. Rather than dozens of players, I got three, but at least they were quality including Eli Manning himself! Thanks to my assistant Mike Isler, I was able to have him help set up the booth while I roamed the floor of the store snapping photos.
Hopefully the Giants will win the Superbowl again someday so I have the opportunity to celebrate with the team once more! Maybe this time with a little more communication I’ll be able to get the entire project completed.
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