The Photography Hunt: Randall Slavin
Randall Slavin lives a very coveted life. Beyond shooting numerous spreads in Fashion magazines, Randall also shoots strong pictorials of Hollywood’s coolest folk for respected glossies such as GQ, Rolling Stone, and New York Times. Then there’s the unique philanthropic projects such as Charlize Theron’s photo essay on influential global leaders including Bill Clinton and Bono. I asked Randall a few questions about his eBay hunts and what ignited his passion to pick up photography later in life.
Jauretsi: You have a unique story in the sense that you made a sharp turn later in life by pursing photography after a career in acting. How did this revelation come forth?
Randall Slavin: After stumbling into a Peter Beard exhibit in Los Angeles, I had a great epiphany and went home and told my agent and manager that I didn’t want to be an actor anymore. Something about the drama and adventure in Mr. Beards collages and journals struck a powerful chord in me. I have never looked back since.
Q: What would you say is a benchmark moment in your photo career that made you grateful to be in the room?
A: Hmmm.. that is the most amazing thing…this little machine allows me access to certain things that constantly blow my mind. Recently I had the honor of shooting President Clinton and it was an incredibly powerful moment for me as a political junkie and lifelong Democrat (not to mention the fact that he and I share the same birthday).
Q: Any good eBay hunting stories?
A: When I first decided to dedicate myself to taking pictures, I scoured eBay for long out-of-print books that became invaluable to my growth. I became obsessed with finding old Richard [Avedon] magazines and Peter Beard books. I felt that I had missed out on so many great books and I needed to catch up!
Q: What are your must-haves as a pro fashion photographer?
A: The only must have for a fashion photographer I think is a hunger to learn, and a love of people and knowledge of those who came before you.
Q: Is there a point-and-shoot you always carry around when you don’t use your pro set up? What is it you like about this particular camera?
A: I love love love my Lumix GF1 that I got on eBay. I am in a constant search for the perfect point-n-shoot and this is pretty damn awesome. Now, if it were only smaller….
Q: What projects can we expect from you in the coming future?
A: Next month I’m heading off to the Everglades to shoot a young actor with a 15 ft croc…very excited about that.
Photo: (top) Randall Slavin with Zoe Saldana, (top left) John Ham, (top right) Salman Rushdie, (bottom left) Timothy Olyphant, (bottom right) Charlize Theron for Charlize Theron African Outreach Project. For more images by Randall, visit RandallSlavin.com