a moonwalk to remember

By strazz

August 28, 2009

Category: projects

2 Comments »

Shortly after Michael Jackson’s death, I was listening to the Roe Conn Show on WLS radio and heard an interview with Michael Jackson impersonator Rico Hampton aka Rico Michael Jackson.

I decided that I would like to follow Rico around for a while to see how his life and career was being affected by the death of the King of Pop.

I tracked Rico down and asked him if I could do a story on him. He agreed.

The sticking point was that I was just about to leave for my 3-week vacation in Sweden and I knew that I would be missing some great stuff. I was especially bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to hang out at Jackson’s childhood home in Gary, Indiana with Rico.

After returning from Sweden, I called Rico and he said that he had a gig that night at a birthday party in nearby Aurora.

I arrived around 7:30pm to check out the scene before Rico’s 8pm performance. The light was beautiful and I had pre-visualized some great shots as Rico performed in the backyard.

8pm became 9pm and it got really really dark.

I hadn’t used a strobe in nearly 10 years but as I stood around waiting for Rico, I decided that a paparazzi style direct strobe might be the best way to tell this tale.

I dug around in my trunk and pulled out my flash, grabbed some AAs out of my glove box and tested out some shots on the kids at the party. I set the strobe on the 105mm setting but used a wide angle lens on my camera. This combination created a dark vignette around the brightly lit center of the frame.

Well, Rico never made it to the party that night but soon after I was able to start this project.

The strobe effect didn’t work so great during the daylight shoots but I still think that it was the right way to go.

For a multimedia piece on chicagotribune.com GO HERE.

©2009 Chicago Tribune/ Scott Strazzante

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2 Responses to “a moonwalk to remember”

  1. Strazzante with a strobe? Now that’s change we can believe in. Good decision for the subject.

    Nice running into you at the office last week. Glad your doing well.

  2. I am shocked that you could A) find it and B) it still worked.

    Really nice stuff, as always.
    Cheers!

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