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Posts tagged ‘NYT’

Bad, Icky, Nasty, Creepy Elmo. Parents Beware!

Every so often I’ll get a call from an editor asking me to shoot an assignment that just makes me laugh. Tuesday was one of those days. Fresh off a plane from a two-week shoot in Hawaii, a metro editor at the NY Times rang me asking me to hop into Central Park (always my favorite assignment location) to photograph a “Bad Elmo”. Since I was off the grid from a full day of travel, I hadn’t heard about the recent news of a hate-spewing Elmo who was yelling at people the day prior. I’m talking about the silly people who dress up like characters and pose with tourists for money. Think Times Square or Hollywood Boulevard in LA.

Since I live right on Central Park West, I often get called for last minute assignments in the park, like this one. Apparently the reporter was doing some investigating and found the Bad Elmo in the same spot he was the day prior, posting with tourists and collecting $1 and $5 bills for his talent. Turns out these guys can make a pretty decent living doing this. He said his suit cost $300 off the internet and he can make around $200/day.

As he continued to speak with the reporter the story turned more and more disturbing and I was shocked to hear him be so candid, explaining that he was just let out of a psychiatric ward at the local hospital where he’d been held since the altercation that put him there a day earlier. He went on to give the reporter his background which involved both running and being an actor in a PORNOGRAPHY website based out of Cambodia he created called “Rape Camp”. That’s right parents, the Elmo that is on his knees embracing your children ran and acted in a website called Rape Camp.

So anyway…I just found it amazing how this creepy dude who was candidly talking about his disturbing past to a reporter was continually interrupted by parents so that he could be paid to hold their innocent little children. Hopefully the NY Times article gives you pause next time you see a random person waltzing down the street cloaked in a furry costume.

Parents Beware!

More Photos of Bad Elmo can be found in my archives.

28 Jun 2012

Bruce Springsteen Rocks The Apollo

I’ve shot a lot of concerts in my days as a news photographer….especially in 2010 when I shot 85 Justin Bieber shows (yeah, seriously) when I was touring with the kid making his book. But rarely do I shoot a single concert that makes all my (older) family members envious. Last night I shot Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for the New York Times as part of a VIP concert for Serius Satellite subscribers who were celebrating their 10 year anniversary.

I was tasked with not just shooting the show itself, but also to try and get a sense of who was attending this VIP show being held in one of the smallest venues Springsteen has played. I arrived around 6:30 to the Apollo and there was already lines of folks waiting to get in, as well as many people just loitering around in hopes of snagging a loose ticket.

I don’t come to Harlem all that often, but I think it might be safe to say that there were more white folks in their 60s than this venue sees in a month…not to stereotype a Springsteen fan…

Some of the more famous VIPs that I saw there included Michael J Fox, Tommy Hilfiger, Brian Williams, Coach Tom Coughlin, Harry Belafonte, Ben Stiller, Elvis Costello, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and a host of others who I didn’t personally know.

The set list was long and consisted of early hits and tunes from his newest album. It was my first time seeing The Boss in concert and I must say I was impressed an old white guy could rock a stage like he did.

On top of simply being a fun night at work, I got to see an old pal from the Bieber tour, Adam Courtney, who was my busmate for 6 months while I toured with Justin Bieber, and is now touring with Springsteen. Good seeing you bro.

Fun times!

11 Mar 2012

A Night Out with Kim Kardashian


Kim Kardashian Night Out – Images by Robert Caplin

As I mentioned in my previous post about Madeleine Albright, I’ve shot a few of these “Night Out” columns for the NY times that put a reporter and myself out for an evening chilling with a celebrity-type.

I got the assignment and was told I would be photographing Kim Kardashian….but I wasn’t exactly sure who she was. I’d heard the name on TV a few times…but since I watch all my TV on Hulu, I dont see all the reality TV that on so often. So I googled her and quickly became a little too familiar with her….

Anyhow, I met up with Kim and her sister, Chloe, the reporter and another of their friends at a hip/modern dinner spot called Delicatessen. It was a strange experience for me because I felt like I was with these celebrities who I really had no knowledge of. In fact when we left the restaurant I got scared to death by a paparazzi! Little dude scared the crap out of me! So after dinner we headed to a club called Avenue where we hung out for a spell….and that was pretty much the night….

Take a gander at the article here.

You’ll notice she was on her phone under the table twittering….this was before I really knew what the heck Twitter was….she asked my username and i didn’t even know what it was. (You can see her asking me in the third pic in the slideshow) I guess she was going to tell her fans she was hanging out with me and the reporter….I later looked at her page and saw she has over 2 million followers…dang that would have gotten some eyes on my website.

Guess what my twitter account is? @robertcaplin ….sigh

9 Oct 2009

A Night Out with Madeleine Albright, In Style.


Albright – Night Out – Images by Robert Caplin

I’ve recently been shooting a few “Night Out” columns for the NY Times, which entails myself and a writer basically chillin’ with a celebrity-type for an evening. The most recent was with former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Coincidently I was hired earlier in the day to also photograph Ms Albright at a luncheon at Tina Brown’s residence, so I spent the the entire day with her.

For the evening assignment I met up with Ms Albright at the Museum of Arts and Design, where she was attending her opening reception for an exhibit featuring all the pins (brooches) she wore during her diplomatic missions all over the world. It was actually very cool to see how she chose what to wear and the symbolism intended by each pin. To my surprise Barbra Streisand showed up and was given a personal tour of the exhibit by Madeleine It was certainly interesting to hear the stories she shared with Streisand about all her pins.

The reception was followed by dinner at The Plaza Hotel; unfortunately I didn’t get to eat! (P.S. – my girlfriend Laia was part of the team who designed The Plaza’s website! She’s a great web designer….if you’re ever in the market!)

6 Oct 2009

Assignment Blues… Cobalt Blues and White Sand Beaches.


Riviera Maya – Images by Robert Caplin

I’m swear I’ll get back into the swing of blogging…as for now, I thought I’d share some pics from one of my latest assignments.

I recently shot a fun assignment for the New York Times Escapes section about the Riviera Maya, the 100-mile stretch of beach that runs from Cancun south. The story is about the affordable (well at least to some) real estate in the area and to generally illustrate how beautiful the area is.

Let’s just say it wasnt a difficult assignment. :)

Take a peek at the NY Times article.
And the related slideshow.

3 Oct 2009

“Weekend” Column Comes to a Close

Over the past 2-3 years I’ve had the good fortune to work regularly with the NY Times Travel Section and writer Seth Kugel for his weekly column “Weekend In New York”. Seth decided to give up the column to set up shop in Brazil and try something new.

In today’s Sunday NY Times is Seth’s final Weekend column and I found working on it bittersweet. The column’s purpose was to give readers a themed itinerary of things to do if they visited to NYC for a weekend. Everything ranging from the best bakeries to ethnic themed adventures. The column regularly brought me to very cool hidden NYC bars, restaurants, specialty shops, tourist sites, vast cemeteries, sailing, and so on.

The final Weekend column which is in today’s paper, it was an ode to the column’s writer Seth Kugel. He reminisced on his 15 years living in the Big Apple and how even he, a reporter paid to explore and experience the city, has not even come close to experiencing all NYC has to offer.

For the first time working on the column, I was given a handful of days to photograph the finale which had Seth checking out and doing those activities he’s always wanted to do, but never ended up having the chance. This ended up having us waiting in line outside at David Letterman, at mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to the Opera, chowing down of expensive steak at the world-renowned Peter Lugar’s Steakhouse, taking in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and jogging through Central Park.

As I look back, I realize I got to be Seth’s eyes and really get a explore my city….I LOVE NYC!

Some favorites:
To the Trained Eye, Museum Pieces Lurk Everywhere
From the Days When New York Was Actually New
People-Watching: Here’s Looking at You
You May Now Kiss the Clerk
From Bi Bim Bop to a Huge Spa
Where River Views Are From the River
You Can Come and Go. They’re Staying Awhile.

Check out a whole slue of the columns I worked on here.


Seth snagged this shot of me shooting for THIS column


Seth shows up to my apartment unannounced with sweets purchased from bakeries all over the city for THIS assignment. That was a nice surprise!

14 Dec 2008