Portraits For The Wall Street Journal
It's an odd time to be entering someone's home to make a portrait of them. When I arrived at the door of Retired Four Star Admiral William McRaven, a pile of delivery boxes sat on the front porch next to the door, doubtless left there long enough for any traces of Covid-19 to have been erased from their surface.
I always try to research portrait subjects in advance, if I can, and this shoot was no different. Which begs the question, why did I not learn until later that Admiral McRaven oversaw the mission that resulted in the capture/death of Ossama Bin Laden?? What a conversation opportunity missed!
Prior to embarking on this assignment The Wall Street Journal set-up a one-hour Covid safety course that was both enlightening and re-assuring. WSJ makes the course available to all of its staff and freelancers, as well as sending a N95 mask for me via mail. Both were greatly appreciated, and were the exception rather than the norm in my experience of recent assignments.
As well as a mask, I wore new protective shoe coverings to prevent tracking anything into Admiral McRaven's home, and Admiral McRaven left me alone to set up lights. Obviously we maintained social distances, and kept the shoot as short as possible - a total of three set-ups, two different rooms, completed in around 45-minutes. Where possible, I'm avoiding using assistants at the moment, or at the very least, working with minimal crews.
My thanks to The Wall Street Journal for sending me out, and to Admiral McRaven and his wife for the safe hospitality.