Martin Schoeller is an award-winning photographer who for many years was on staff with The New Yorker. And as he reminds this week, his ascension to that position owes a great deal to a certain Oscar-winning actress.
In 1998, freelancer Schoeller counted just five assigned jobs – three of which were weddings. In 1999, the year he was hired by The New Yorker, that total would jump to 127.
I had come across the Kino Fluorescent lighting system (a sort of fluorescent tube lighting) and started to incorporate it into my work. This started to change things: these lights really bring out a subject’s eyes. And because I had adopted the style of a super close-up portrait, my work started to stick out. Back then the mainstream thing to do was a more distanced shot with a perfect background and styling – and it was also a time when Photoshop was really becoming a big part of things.