Two weeks ago I received an inquiry from Dana Hagendorf, VP and Chief Marketing Officer for Fontainebleau in Miami, one of the world's top resorts.
"Can you fly down to Miami next week to shoot our executive portraits?"
My calendar is booked solid until January, with an overflow of people on the waiting list. I cannot accommodate any disruption in my schedule, so I had no choice but to say...
I even added two days to shoot for my Dancers Among Us book. I'm no fool.
As I expected, the resort is lavish and stunning and immense- well deserving of their premier standing in the industry. However, I did not expect to enjoy everyone's company as much as I did. I discovered that "cool executives" is definitely not an oxymoron.
I assumed they wanted a standard corporate headshot approach- find a nice location and have each executive come to me, basically replicating the same photo every time. Instead, I proposed a unique idea- photograph each executive in a different environment, choosing a location that matches the individual's expertise.
As I was making the suggestion, I fully realized I was tripling my workload. But a full workday in Miami is like a day off in NYC, so I wasn't worried.
I had a fantastic time exploring and photographing the property. I shot for twelve hours and we laughed our asses off the entire day. Here are a few of the final images. You'll have to go to www.fontainebleau.com to see the rest.
The President and COO, Philip Goldfarb, surveying his domain from the expansive back patio
Director of Spa Operations, Josie Feria, relaxing in a corner of the 45,000 square foot spa
Leo Carrillo, VP of Facilities, standing among the massive cooling units that run up a nice $3 million per month bill
My new BFF Mary Barrett, VP of Operations, next to the world famous "Cheese Wall" (yes, they actually have a wall that's very famous, and they've named it after a milk-based food product)
Jeffery Klein, VP of Operations, Food and Beverage, overseeing another evening of madness and mayhem in the popular Blue Bar
Aneska Arrocha, General Council, and Alina Molina, VP of Human Resources, at opposite ends of the sprawling lobby
Kevin McKee, Chief Financial Officer, outside the "Presidential Suite," where all the Presidents stay when they're in Miami
Finally, Dana Hagendorf, the woman who made it all happen, looking out over the stunning property
The day that began at 7am finally ended at 7pm, but my time with some of the executives wasn't over. We continued late into the night, but I won't divulge any of the sordid details. You know the expression: