In this months Fast Company Magazine, I have pictures of Groupon founder, Andrew Mason. My research on Andrew found that for a CEO of a billion dollar company, he was quite an eccentric. Maybe even a nut job. I was prepared as I could be.
We arrived before dawn. With only had 30 minutes with Andrew and three locations to shoot in, we couldn't make a mistake and everything was triple checked. Once my sets were prepped, I felt we needed props. You know...in case he was shy. So three of us spread out and raided desks and cubicles on multiple floors of office space borrowing personal oddities like balloons, business card helmets, and stuffed animals. We arranged them on a table to throw in when needed.
Andrew arrived on time, slightly paunchy and wearing jeans with a light blue button down shirt. Once through make-up, he jumped on the first set and I began shooting. He wasn't taking direction well and seemed distracted. He wiggled with some discomfort then and declared he'd feel better wearing less clothes. I agreed. Shorts were quickly produced. He changed behind the set and emerged wearing an employee's sweaty workout clothes and loafers. No socks.
Now comfortable Andrew giggled and seemed to transform into an eight year old, laughing spontaneously and flitting from flirtatious modelesque poses to rolling over and hiding his face in a corner. Andrew has a signature good nature and was game for the challenges I threw his way. At one point I gave him 30 seconds to stuff his face with as many chocolate chip cookies he could cram. 15! Ten minutes later we got him dressed and onto our second set which was for possible cover use. He donned an employees Scotch taped Groupon business card helmet borrowed from the 6th floor.
Done with set two and ten minutes left with Andrew, my second assistant dashed upstairs to meet us in our last location, "Michael's Room", a converted windowless office turned beer soaked teenager's bedroom and meeting space. Don't ask. Andrew quickly changed back to his first stripped down look and mounted an exercise bike which plays a 45 record when you pedal. He gave a light spinning workout on the bike and 5 minutes later we wrapped. While leaving Michael's Room I overheard Andrew gently scold the PR girl, "You should have stopped me back there."
I've shot Andrew again since. When we shook his hands for the second time I think there was a tinge of embarrassment on his face. However, now knowing a little more about him, it was probably just pride.
Photo Editor: Leslie Dela Vega and Jessie Adler
Set and Props: Jay Neander
Hair and Make up: Karen Brody
Assistants: Harrison Hillman and Tim Blokel
Wardrobe: Andrew Mason