My Esquire Photo Story That Never Was

Last June I got an awesome assignment for Esquire–my first!–to document an “attractive” man, Conrad, throughout NYC. It was going to be a sort of sequel to Esquire’s 1999 article “The Secret Life of a Beautiful Woman.” I was supposed to focus a lot on the reactions of people to this guy–not necesarily to shoot his face. As it happens in the editorial world, stories get cut and that was the unfortunate fate of this one. It happens! However, I’m still really proud of the photos and I’ve never shown them all before, so here they are. It was a fascinating sociological experience for sure.

I don’t get documentary assignments like this often enough and I wish I did. According to my site statistics people click on “Portraits” and almost nothing else, so my documentary work gets thrown by the wayside. However, it’s my favorite thing to shoot, and I think I’m pretty damn good at it! So have a look, enjoy, and I’m glad to finally give this series a home despite its never appearing in print. Thanks to Alison for putting faith in me for this assignment… hope to get the chance to work this way again.

Sidenote: We started out in the Upper West Side and I suggested we take the bus all the way downtown where we were going to meet his friend in the West Village, as the light is so nice on the bus in the afternoon. Conrad helped this woman on the left with her walker and she literally started crying because she had never seen a stranger be so kind to her. So awesome!

Comments 14

  1. Chris Floyd wrote:

    This is brilliant. I love Conrad! What’s his number?

    Posted 22 Feb 2011 at 5:08 pm
  2. John wrote:

    I think #s 7, 8 and 9 are my favourites.

    Posted 22 Feb 2011 at 6:28 pm
  3. Maria wrote:

    I love these! Great job!

    Posted 22 Feb 2011 at 7:40 pm
  4. Jono wrote:

    I love this series! A very strong collection of images. I love how all the girls are staring up at him, they all look so dumbstruck, its great!

    Posted 22 Feb 2011 at 8:34 pm
  5. Angela Datre wrote:

    That first shot is my favorite. The light is perfect.

    Posted 22 Feb 2011 at 9:05 pm
  6. Ishai Parasol wrote:

    really amazing! especially the 5th photograph. the guy on the 6th is great. jealous guys are awesome!

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 1:59 am
  7. Mrs Rubbish wrote:

    Love this. To quote: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl, The Twits

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 3:50 am
  8. Gustaf wrote:

    Nice work. You’ve every right to be proud of these.

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 4:59 am
  9. Adrian wrote:

    Fantastic job achieving the stated goal here. A great set.

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 9:32 am
  10. emmanuelli wrote:

    great series! beutifully shot and treated.

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 2:54 pm
  11. emmanuelli wrote:

    that was *BEAUTIFULLY

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 2:55 pm
  12. colin wrote:

    wow, all those women are captivated by him. also, that looks like ethan suplee in photo #6

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 3:01 pm
  13. leslie wrote:

    the first commenter said “brilliant” which is what I was gonna type, so,
    BRILLIANT.
    also, damn shame esquire didn’t push through with this.

    Posted 23 Feb 2011 at 3:20 pm
  14. Oliver @ Sabi Style wrote:

    Wow what an incredible series of shots. This is amazing stuff – I love how you have captured the people around in such an unguarded way. Very cool!

    Posted 18 Mar 2011 at 3:22 am

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by elizabeth weinberg, Chris Floyd and Chris Floyd, patrickleung. patrickleung said: Wicked documentary lifestyle photographs! RT @eliz Blog updated: My Esquire Photo Story That Never Was http://bit.ly/giB5g3 […]