Art Streiber on shooting “The Morning After” the Oscars for Entertainment Weekly

For the past seven years, Entertainment Weekly has commissioned Art Streiber to shoot portraits of Oscar winners the morning after they’ve been handed their golden statue. It’s extraordinarily fast-paced work that requires precision and grace. Here’s a look at Art’s portraits from this year’s “The Morning After” feature, on which he collaborated with Lisa Berman, EW‘s director of photography, and Richard Maltz, the magazine’s deputy director of photography on the West Coast. Art also shares with us the inside story of how he got the shots. Fasten your seatbelts…

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Octavia Spencer. Photo by Art Streiber for Entertainment Weekly, March 9, 2012, issue.

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I have been fortunate to work on the “Morning After” Oscar shoot for Entertainment Weekly since 2005, when we photographed Jamie Foxx and his Best Actor Oscar in the back of a limousine outside the Kodak Theatre. Foxx had won for Ray.

We never know who we are going to be photographing or where we are going to be photographing them, but we always know that we will have a MINIMAL amount of time to make the portrait.

This year was a bit different. We knew that if we were going to be photographing any of the winners for The Artist, or Octavia Spencer, that we’d be at the Four Seasons hotel and that if we were going to be photographing Christopher Plummer, we’d be at the Peninsula Hotel.

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"The Artist" Oscar winners. Photo by Art Streiber for Entertainment Weekly.

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So…my crew assembled at the Four Seasons the night before, and crashed in the conference room that became our home base/mini studio.

Our session with the five Oscar winners from The Artist began at 4:36 AM and ended at 4:45 AM.  They were exhausted and exhilarated and had just sat down with the Today Show, who were live at 4 AM out of the lobby of the Four Seasons.

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Christopher Plummer. Photo by Art Streiber for Entertainment Weekly.

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We then switched gears and photographed Octavia Spencer on a balcony at the Four Seasons at 7 AM, then packed up, headed west two miles and set up shop at the Peninsula Hotel, where we photographed Christopher Plummer at 11:45 AM.

In each case, we have a very limited amount of time to compose and light the portrait, capture the dazed emotions of the Oscar winners and then…edit on set with Richard Maltz and Lisa Berman from Entertainment Weekly, FTP their selected files to my printer/retoucher, and get those finalized files to EW in New York by the end of the day… But it’s always a lot of fun!

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One Comment

  1. Posted 03/06/2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating! Love this article, the portraits and the excitement


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