Rob Zuckerman, Photography Exhibit at the Betsy Hotel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Robert Zuckerman, photographer and Christine Michaels, blogger

Last Sunday was a dual celebration. The exhibit of famed celebrity photographer Rob Zuckerman, and the appearance of two cast members from Charlie's Angels at the Betsy Ross Hotel in South Beach.  Which one won most attention? The exhibit! The photos that hung in the lobby, the downstairs bar/lounge and in the guestroom corridor pulled you in and one is mesmerized, addicted, reading.

The black and white photos were my favorite. Why is it they seem to tell a deeper story than a photo in color? The shades of black and grey and shadows of light all tell the story. Photographers amaze me. Robert Zuckerman has spent 20 years photographing Hollywood celebrities on film sets. His interest in his subjects later included average people.

According to Lydia Martin, Miami Herald:
Whether he’s training his lens on megawatt movie stars or taking impromptu shots of regular folks he encounters on elevators and street corners, in car rental joints and hotel corridors, photographer Robert Zuckerman is after the same thing: that fleeting, unguarded moment when the camera disappears, artifice drops and subject and shooter really start talking.
The one photo that captured this caption and also my favorite was a black and white of Morgan Freeman. Quiet, pensive, a million miles away. What occupies is mind?

Zuckerman’s presence behind the lens won’t be denied in the low-light portrait of Will Smith, caught in a wistful, weary moment at the end of a gray day spent shooting a new album cover.

So how does he do it? Is it practice perfected? Is it Science?

Zuckerman learned early on that a mild-mannered style always trumps an in-your-face stance when you’re trying to get people to drop their guard in front of a contraption that can come across as obtrusive, impolite, even thieving. That low-key approach is critical for a photographer who values emotional content above anything else he might be able to capture with his cameras.

“I think with anything you do, the intention you put behind it resonates in the results. It’s not something you can easily put into words, or teach to someone else, but if you have the intention of finding a glimpse of someone’s true character, that somehow comes through. It’s like magic. Or alchemy. It’s about a connection you can make, even for a moment, with another human being.” [Miami Herald, August 22, 2011]

How does a photographer capture that look, that mystery, the essence? I have to agree, it's alchemy.  Probably a little practice too. His subjects are treated the same, both celebrities and average Joes.

Robert Zuckerman's series Hindsight is on exhibition throughout the Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive--the colonial building at the end of a row of Art Deco Hotels.

Downstairs lounge Betsy Hotel

Christine sits and drinks champagne on velvet sofa in downstairs lounge

When asked which celebrity was surpisingly cooperative and which was difficult, Zuckerman actually names names! Read the complete article in the Miami Herald.

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  1. Thanks for the great post on our recent Zuckerman opening here at The Betsy South Beach! Come back and visit anytime :) (The Betsy - South Beach)

  2. Just saw your great write-up...Thank you! I believe you are a practitioner of good intention=good results!

    Robert Zuckerman