Thursday, January 28, 2010
BMW Photo Shoot
About two weeks ago I received an email from Susanne Meis who works in BMW's communication department. She asked if I would like to participate in a story for BMW's 2009 annual report. She further went on to explain that they want to feature one MINI-E pioneer from the East Coast group, one from the West Coast and one from the group of participants in Germany. This story will be in the annual report to highlight BMW's commitment to future alternative fuel vehicles and to show a few of the actual people involved in the trial. I happily agreed and was told that I needed to have a telephone interview with the writer and then a photographer would be flying in from Vienna, Austria to basically follow me for a whole day and photograph me posing with the car in various locations that I frequent (home, work, stops along the way)as well as live shots of me in the car driving as well as out of the car at work.
The photographer, Peter Rigaud arrived from Vienna on Tuesday, January 26th and stopped by my restaurant in Montclair at night to go over the schedule for the next day's shoot. He & two assistants arrived at my home the next morning at about 8:50am and we spent about 2 hours shooting at my house and picking out different clothes to bring for other locations throughout the day. Peter was extremely professional and really knew how to get great shots. I've never modeled for anything and I don't suppose I'll ever need to again so it was kind of uncomfortable standing in so many positions and smiling as I leaned on every angle of the car. I can still hear him say "Remember za joy of driving!" with his heavy accent as he would remind me to put on a smile. After we left my house, we drove the route I usually take to work and he sat in the back of a minivan with the hatch open so he could take pictures of me all the way to my work. Then, as my staff watched and laughed, he had me leaning all over the car in front of the restaurant while he yelled "Tom, za joy of driving!!!!" We then drove to Liberty State Park in Jersey City to get some shots with New York City in the background. With rush hour approaching, it would have taken too long to drive into the city, take pictures and leave so we elected to get the New York skyline in the background. Peter must have taken 300 pictures(to get about 5 for the story) of me and other than it being freezing and windy outside the day went off without any problems.
I can't say enough good things about Peter and his assistants. They were real professionals and even managed to make me look good in the pictures, and that's not as easy as it sounds.