Like Lorenzo Agius
, photographer Jake Chessum has a gift. He can take photos of A-list celebrities and make them appear completely at ease. There are no grandiose sets and no one looks overdone. In fact, in some of Chessum's photos, it's like he was just at the right place, at the right time.
Chessum explains that the secret to getting authentic, spontaneous looking portraits is to gain his subjects' trust. "What I have realized is that my approach to a shoot is really to form a little relationship with the person I’m photographing. When you meet somebody for a shoot, and it usually is the first time you’ve met, you have a very short time in which to assess the best way to get out of them what you need to make the best photographs. I’m lucky because I have a really diverse set of clients and rarely shoot the same type of thing from one day to the next, so I don’t really have a formulaic approach to my subjects. It’s kind of organic and based upon experience, but to shoot a successful picture the subject has to trust you.
"I think allowing the random to happen is really important. To be too proscribed, and to not allow spontaneity or your subconscious to take over is a huge mistake in a medium where the moment of creation can be as little as 1/1000th of a second."
Dave Chappelle, Jeremy Piven
Bill Murray, Jay-Z
"When I shot Coldplay, we pulled a load of disco balls for them to pose with, but at the shoot Chris Martin got into one of the boxes that they had been delivered in. So the shot ended up being Coldplay jumping in cardboard boxes (with disco balls in the background)."