My phone rings. On the other end of the phone is an Atlanta prop store owner calling to ask me where he can drop off “the chair.” Now, I had a heads up here. Getty Images staff photographer Jamie Squire, asked to shoot portraits for the NHL All-Star game in Atlanta, and he warned fellow editor Christian Petersen and I that a chair would be arriving. However, we weren’t expecting this kind of chair.
To our surprise and amusement the chair we would be using for portraits of NHL All-Stars and Youngstars would be a chair that resembles something Hugh Hefner would own and something you might find at a bad antique shop.
Would these NHL players really pose for a portrait in this thing? We felt, along with the people from NHL Images, that Jamie was taking a chance but only time would tell. Just in case the players wouldn’t go for it Jamie brought a bar stool in the studio.
Christian and I helped Jamie set up lights and after shooting some test frames on “the chair” against the black backdrop we felt confident the photos would be high quality and something memorable. All that was left was convincing the players.
Some of our test shots:
In the portrait studio we thought it might be good if we had a couple of female assistants to make the players feel comfortable in the chair. So with the help of some of the NHLI staff and fellow editor Rebecca Butala How, they were able to convince all the players except Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins that they would look fantastic in “the chair.”
50 plus All-Stars later Jamie accomplished a portrait shoot that some felt would not work. Many major newspaper outlets the next day even used the portraits on their front page of their sport sections and many other magazine requests have been put in for usage. And none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for The Chair.