Jay-Zzzzzzzzzzz

On Thursday night, I was assigned to shoot the Hennessy Black carpet arrivals at a party hosted by LeBron James at The Shrine, a south side Chicago club.

I don’t shoot many of these type of events so I really enjoyed the randomness of the night.

Crammed in a tent off the alley, I stood around as scores of Chicago “celebrities” arrived for the party. I put celebrities in quotes because I didn’t recognize any of the DJs, singers, radio personalities or choreographers who attended the soiree.

The first guy I knew was Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis.

Shani was awesome. He was very personable and quite accessible. He was even going to let us photographers wear his gold medal until someone told him that would be disrespectful to the Olympics. Ouch!

Shortly before midnight, LeBron arrived with some of his Cavs’ teammates. LeBron spent about 15 seconds in the entrance area before he slipped off to his private party.

Minutes later, someone yelled, “Jay-Z is coming!”

Except for a quick second all I saw was the back of Jay-Z’s seven-foot tall, 300-pound body guard who blocked everyone’s view as the rapper strolled past.

I think I was the only one who got a photo of the star, whatever that is worth.

I think one night as a paparazzi will do for awhile.

©2010 Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune

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