ONCE UPON A TIME
Los Angeles, California – 2019
My plan was to find a section of Sunset Boulevard emblematic of Hollywood - it needed to be familiar to all and have some depth. After a great deal of walking up and down, we chose a spot 200 yards east of the entrance to Chateau Marmont, because the billboards looking west were large and well positioned and the hotel and the hotel sign are so iconic. The bend in the road also helped give the frame a compositional balance that I could not find on other sections - such as Sunset Plaza. In my head it was always going to be a wide angle shot.
To shut the road down meant shooting first thing on a Sunday morning - which worked as we knew the best light would be sunrise if we were shooting towards the Pacific. Equally, I did not want the sun to rise too much as it would be tough on both the wolf and the model’s eyes. Of course, the model was not your run of the mill model - it was Alessandra Ambrosio - one of the world’s most photographed women. She has a very special look and is so easy to work with.
The photograph is as I wanted - very LA, very West Hollywood and jammed with reference points. It’s a little crazy, a little La La Land, but that was the goal. Most of all, to the best of my knowledge, it’s authentic. No one can try and copy it now.
"Once upon a time …..”