a moonwalk to remember
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