Ok – let’s list the top dream jobs out there.A-list Hollywood actor World famous opera singer President of the United States Rock God
What if you scored a job where you got to work with all of the above, take amazing photographs and in the process, become life-long friends by sharing intimate moments? That’s exactly the life led by rock photographers, Henry Grossman and Deborah Feingold. Hosted at the elegant Roger Hotel, Henry and Deborah recalled their adventures while on assignment for The New York Times, Life Magazine and Rolling Stones among others last Tuesday evening over champagne. Below are a few highlights from this charming conversation.
John F. Kennedy: Photographed “Jack”, as he learned to call him, on the day that he announced his run for the presidency. Quickly perceived that in order to be ready for each shot, find out where the pretty girls were standing in the room.
The Beatles: Enjoyed unprecedented access to this legendary band from 1963 - 1967. Shot their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, the filming of the movie “Help” and the recording of the Sergeant Pepper album at Abbey Road Studios. Became life-long friends with George Harrison, right up to his death in 2001.
Luciano Pavarotti: After accidentally upsetting the maestro, Henry took a self-portrait of himself sitting backwards on a horse, hands gesturing as if he was singing opera and mailed it to the singer. Pavarotti immediately forgave Henry, exclaiming, “Never forget the horse’s ass!”
Thoughts on photography: “People always look for the surprise in photos.”
Early career: Started her career in a Boston prison for juvenile offenders, teaching them how to communicate using the power of photography. “My photography room was a 6’ x 6’ cell.”
All that Jazz: Got her big break with an assignment with Artist House to shoot Chet Baker. Led to a two decade long journey shooting James Brown, Miles Davis, Aerosmith, The Ramones, B.B. King and more…
Toughest assignment: Obama and his team of art directors. With a pre-planned storyboard of the president and the skyline of Chicago, Feingold managed to earn the trust of the future president by convincing him and his staff to walk up to makeshift studio inside her hotel room. The photo, taken under spontaneous circumstances, can be seen on the cover of Obama’s best-seller, The Audacity of Hope. What’s her winning strategy to get that shot? “I bored him into submission to get that photo.”
Photos are available courtesy of Rock Paper Photo and will be on display at The Roger Hotel until the end of the year.
The Roger Hotel
131 Madison Avenue (near East 31st Street)
New York, NY 10016