January birthday. February Robbery. What will March bring?

January started slow, as all attention was on throwing Therese (me!) an outrageous, over the top, detail-rich 50th birthday party. This was mostly a surprise, and understandably, not much got done on the business side of our life! Here’s the Photo Booth, just a small part of a huge party.

February, we got down to business getting more business, for exactly 9 days. Why only 9 days? Because on the 10th day, Andy’s office window was smashed, and $50,000 of gear was stolen. It’s a really strange experience,and the effects echoed for weeks afterwards. From paranoia about it happening again, to looking forever for that one cord, then realizing that was part of the theft.

The good news, though, is that we’re supposed to have a settlement check this week. So that’s something! A huge shout out to Tom C. Pickard, our insurance agency, and to Great American Insurance, our insurance company. It didn’t move as quickly as I would have liked, but they did right by us in the end.

$50,000 hammer. This is what the thieves left behind after smashing our office window.

 

What to do when it all falls apart?

Last week, we had a great opportunity to work with an actor/author that was coming through town on a press junket. We were excited to add him to our entertainment portfolio, and use the work in social media. The bad news? He never showed up. It sucked, and we were bummed.

But we aren’t easily deterred. The stage was set, what good would come out of putting it all away, and being mad about it all weekend? So we got onto Instagram, reached out to several local models that have shown interest in testing with us, booked h/mu stylists, and we were set.

Monday/Tuesday of this week, we made some exciting photographs to add to our sport portfolio, creating conceptually driven action and portrait shots, including video footage! Andy created dark, cinematic shots using moody lighting and gels to create an otherworldly effect. I can’t wait to get this work out into the world, but until then, here’s some hot BTS action!

Dramatic basketball photographer Andy Batt shoots with here with Canon cameras and glass, and Broncolor Lighting.
Photographer Andy Batt shoots basketball with Kojo Aidoo, with help from Galvin Collins and Tracy Schulz
Dramatic boxing photographer Andy Batt shoots here with a Canon C-300MII
Photographer Andy Batt behind the lens and flanked by Terri Lodge as Sonachi Umeh shows us his boxing moves
Dramatic athletic photographer Andy Batt shoots with Canon and Broncolor gear
Photographer Andy Batt shoots with Sonachi with help from Terri Lodge

My 4 minute shoot with the real Tommy Wiseau

Dramatic entertainment photographer Andy Batt shoots actor Tommy Wiseau
Andy’s shoot with Tommy Wiseau

“This is probably wrong, but it’s how I remember it. I think Jason called me the day of, asking if he could use my studio to interview Tommy Wiseau. That guy from The Room. The “Oh Hai Mark” guy. I’d heard many stories about Tommy from Jason. There was no way I would turn down a chance to have Tommy in the studio.

Jason and Ian showed up with Tommy. He’s a whirlwind of energy, kinda crazy, kinda edgey, but also incredibly friendly. He’s intense. He’s nuts. He’s indescribable. Jason and Ian shot a couple episodes of  Tommy Explains It All — I learned all about Tommy’s Thoughts on Kissing, and his Secrets to Success. After they wrapped the video, I grabbed an opportunity to photograph Tommy—you don’t get the creator of The Room in your studio and not photograph him.

There’s no directing Tommy. He’s got very specific ideas about what looks cool, and a style that is all his own. The only way is to flow with him and let him take you on an adventure. I shot one test at 2:41pm. He jumped, posed, yelled, spun, squatted, invented a new pose, re-styled his belt, did some Mick Jagger poses, gave me the Victory sign, thumbs up, stuck his tongue out, made explosion sounds, vogued, and jumped some more. He was done at 2:45. In 4 minutes and 77 pictures he gave me a crazy amount of energy. After that Tommy really wanted to do group shots with everyone. I got to do a “cool guy back-to-back” pose with Tommy!

Tommy flew out of the studio in a cloud of crazy energy, just the way he came in, leaving me dazed in his wake.”

We can’t wait to see The Disaster Artist in the theater– in the meantime, here’s a few of the images.

Tommy Wiseau poses with photographer Andy Batt

77 photographs in 21 seconds