The most ambitious photographic project at the New York Times Magazine was the annual Great Performers portfolio. For six years, I had the privilege of producing the issue. I oversaw every aspect of every shoot, from securing the actors and scheduling their shoots to ensuring the execution of the photographer’s artistic vision while staying true to the identities of the subjects.
For the first three years, we commissioned Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, a husband-and-wife team of fashion photographers. We then expanded to other photographers, including some surprising ones like the photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin, in 2009, and in 2008, the young avant-garde artist Ryan McGinley.
Over the course of six years, I learned to balance the necessary precision of an ambitious production with the spontaneous creativity that an acclaimed actor can produce in front of the camera of a world-renowned photographer. Each year, these portfolios won major industry awards.