Date August 10, 2018

Usher – Singer, Investor, Philanthropist

Meeting and working with Usher was a fantastic experience, and one that I’ll never forget. He was a keynote speaker at Brilliant Minds that took place in Stockholm, Sweden.

As I’ve mentioned about a lot of A-listers that I work with, Usher was one of the most chilled, down to earth people I’ve met. And for a guy who stands before thousands of adoring fans on a regular basis, it would be easy to see how he might have just a tad bit of attitude.

Simply not the case with Usher. He readily agreed to step in front of the lights and let me get this shot. I learned a while back that no matter who you’re working with and just how pressed they are for time, always get a test shot (or two, or three, or four). You might have your settings dialed in, but these test shots give you and your subject those crucial moments to work together before the “real” shot.

Now I don’t know if Usher was in a particularly jovial mood the day we did this, or if he’s just a joker all the time, but during the test shots, I vividly remember him asking me, “What do you want me to do?”. My reply was simple, “No worries man, this is just for me to make sure you look the absolute best that you can. No need to do anything. I mean, you can stick your finger up your nose if you want to.”

I got one shot off, and I could see the smile forming across his face. Next thing I know, I’m standing there face to face with one of the biggest names in the music industry, and he’s grinning back at me with a finger in his nostril. Yeah. That’s the kinda guy Usher is.

And since he was standing there with the, “No really … go ahead,” smile on his face, I was only too happy to oblige. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his publicist going bonkers, and I quickly turned to him and said, “Don’t worry man, this shot will never see the light of day.”

As all of my relationships are built on trust and respect, that statement remains true, and I’ll be the only one to ever view that image, and it still makes me laugh every time I think about it.

All told, we produced this image in less that five minutes, but I think the work speaks for itself. It’s always a treat to work with individuals that are used to, and completely comfortable in front of the camera.

Usher, Natalia, and the entire team at Brilliant Minds, thank YOU for this awesome opportunity!

Enjoy, and if you’d like to work with me, get in touch!

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