The Hollywood Beat

A-sides (and some interesting B's) from Hollywood and beyond, by entertainment photographer Chris Pizzello
In entertainment photography, few events are as exciting as the opening night of a concert tour. As a lifelong music nerd, it’s definitely one of those times I feel privileged to be in this job. A couple of weeks ago I got tapped to cover the opening night of the Rolling Stones’ “50 & Counting” tour at Staples Center. Needless to say, I was damned excited just to be there, let alone shoot it. If you can’t get up for a gig like this, it’s time to hang up the cameras.
We were told by publicity that photographers would be allowed to shoot the second and third songs of the performance. That’s one less than normal, but I had shot the Stones once before at Dodger Stadium in the ’90s, and I know that two songs of Mick Jagger is better than shooting an entire night of lesser frontmen (that would be pretty much every performer in existence). And the Dodger Stadium gig was back in the more challenging era of film cameras and manual focus, so I was definitely looking forward to taking another crack at the Stones with the benefit of autofocus and 16GB cards!
A handful of other photographers and I were told we would be shooting at the back of the “tongue”: an open pit in the shape of the Stones’ famous logo that would be about 50 feet away from the stage. Also, there was a circular ramp going around the tongue where there was a chance Mick would prance right past you.
As I only have two Nikon D3 cameras, this caused a bit of a quandary. Normally, a 300mm lens would have been perfect for a straight-on shot of Mick or Keith performing, but you really need to see at least two or three of them in the shot as well. It is a concert by the Rolling Stones after all, rather than a solo show by Mick or Keith. So maybe the wider 70-200 would be better, I thought. And then there was the ramp, so I had better be ready with a wide angle as well. It seemed to be a three-lens gig and I was one camera short.
I contacted a pair of colleagues in New York to ask if Mick had worked the ramp during the songs they had shot at pre-tour gigs the Stones had recently done there. Both of them said no, so I was set on shooting with the 300 and 70-200. I almost didn’t even bring a wide lens, not wanting to be weighed down by extraneous equipment. But at the last minute I said to myself, “you never know,” and stuffed a 24-70 lens into my jacket pocket.
When the lights went down and the band tore into the classic “Get Off My Cloud,” I was actually happy to be sitting out the first song, as per the publicists’ instructions. For a few minutes I just enjoyed the show like any other fan. The crowd was going crazy. And I have to say, the Stones sounded great. Laugh all you want about their age, but for my money they’re still one of the best live acts in the world. How can they not be with that songbook?
Then the drawling riff of “The Last Time” started, and it was time to go to work. Sure enough, it seemed like the distance to the band was right in between the 70-200, which was a shade too loose, and the 300, in which you could only fit one member of the band in the frame. I went back and forth furiously between the two lenses. Then the third song (our last song to shoot) started, and I saw Mick start heading over toward the ramp. Fumbling around in the dark, I yanked the 300 off of one of my cameras, and quickly snapped on the 24-70. As Mick strutted right past me, I made sure I zoomed out as wide as possible to fit in the spotlights on the left side of the frame. It was a tricky exposure, and I really was not sure I got this picture until I checked my monitor in the Staples Center hallway afterwards. I was pretty relieved when I saw that the focus was sharp and the exposure close enough, as it was almost as if Mick was pitching this picture right to us. And as the song goes, “this could be the last time…”

In entertainment photography, few events are as exciting as the opening night of a concert tour. As a lifelong music nerd, it’s definitely one of those times I feel privileged to be in this job. A couple of weeks ago I got tapped to cover the opening night of the Rolling Stones’ “50 & Counting” tour at Staples Center. Needless to say, I was damned excited just to be there, let alone shoot it. If you can’t get up for a gig like this, it’s time to hang up the cameras.

We were told by publicity that photographers would be allowed to shoot the second and third songs of the performance. That’s one less than normal, but I had shot the Stones once before at Dodger Stadium in the ’90s, and I know that two songs of Mick Jagger is better than shooting an entire night of lesser frontmen (that would be pretty much every performer in existence). And the Dodger Stadium gig was back in the more challenging era of film cameras and manual focus, so I was definitely looking forward to taking another crack at the Stones with the benefit of autofocus and 16GB cards!

A handful of other photographers and I were told we would be shooting at the back of the “tongue”: an open pit in the shape of the Stones’ famous logo that would be about 50 feet away from the stage. Also, there was a circular ramp going around the tongue where there was a chance Mick would prance right past you.

As I only have two Nikon D3 cameras, this caused a bit of a quandary. Normally, a 300mm lens would have been perfect for a straight-on shot of Mick or Keith performing, but you really need to see at least two or three of them in the shot as well. It is a concert by the Rolling Stones after all, rather than a solo show by Mick or Keith. So maybe the wider 70-200 would be better, I thought. And then there was the ramp, so I had better be ready with a wide angle as well. It seemed to be a three-lens gig and I was one camera short.

I contacted a pair of colleagues in New York to ask if Mick had worked the ramp during the songs they had shot at pre-tour gigs the Stones had recently done there. Both of them said no, so I was set on shooting with the 300 and 70-200. I almost didn’t even bring a wide lens, not wanting to be weighed down by extraneous equipment. But at the last minute I said to myself, “you never know,” and stuffed a 24-70 lens into my jacket pocket.

When the lights went down and the band tore into the classic “Get Off My Cloud,” I was actually happy to be sitting out the first song, as per the publicists’ instructions. For a few minutes I just enjoyed the show like any other fan. The crowd was going crazy. And I have to say, the Stones sounded great. Laugh all you want about their age, but for my money they’re still one of the best live acts in the world. How can they not be with that songbook?

Then the drawling riff of “The Last Time” started, and it was time to go to work. Sure enough, it seemed like the distance to the band was right in between the 70-200, which was a shade too loose, and the 300, in which you could only fit one member of the band in the frame. I went back and forth furiously between the two lenses. Then the third song (our last song to shoot) started, and I saw Mick start heading over toward the ramp. Fumbling around in the dark, I yanked the 300 off of one of my cameras, and quickly snapped on the 24-70. As Mick strutted right past me, I made sure I zoomed out as wide as possible to fit in the spotlights on the left side of the frame. It was a tricky exposure, and I really was not sure I got this picture until I checked my monitor in the Staples Center hallway afterwards. I was pretty relieved when I saw that the focus was sharp and the exposure close enough, as it was almost as if Mick was pitching this picture right to us. And as the song goes, “this could be the last time…”

Some b&w vignettes from one of the more surreal arrivals carpets of the year, at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in LA…

Shooting the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, a raucous annual celebration of all things heavy and hard rockin’, is always one of the longest and most brutal nights of the year. After two hours of arrivals — mostly bands I’ve never heard of — we are herded into Club Nokia in LA to shoot a three-hour awards show quite unlike any other. The awards and testimonials are mostly drowned out by deafening performances by bands who seem determined to outdo whoever just played before them. On paper this show is great for photographers, but somehow it’s always a very trying situation inside the venue. There never seems to be enough space carved out in there for us, and we’re usually just thrown into the crowd.
This year we were stuck in a corner of the club with barely any elevation over the standing audience. And anybody who’s been to a show in the past few years knows that virtually every idiot in the crowd seems compelled to hold his iPhone high over his head for nearly the entire duration. It makes getting clean concert photos tremendously challenging. Doesn’t anybody ever just want to live in the moment and just enjoy the show anymore? But that’s a topic for an entire separate blog entry in the future.
Knowing all of these factors in advance, though, I was prepared. I brought my trusty step-stool, and I’m already a rather tall fellow at 6’2”, so I knew the iPhone factor wouldn’t affect me as much as a few of my shorter colleagues. But during the first break in the show, something unexpected happened. I walked over a few feet to chat with a colleague and when I came back to my spot, the step-stool was gone. I couldn’t believe it! Now, I know I’m tall, and it has to be miserable for the poor folks stuck behind me, but come on now, stealing my ladder ? I looked around and asked a few of the metal fans behind me if they’d seen someone take it, but of course no one heard nothin’, no one saw nothin’, no one knew nothin’. And since some of these tatted and pierced metal fans are not exactly the tweedy collegiate types you run into at Coachella, I decided not to inquire too vehemently.
What to do then? Well, I made the best of it. Eventually the sea of hands will part for a few seconds during a performance, and you just keep shooting and hoping to get a good frame here and there. In the end, I had a pretty good night despite it all, and I may not have even seen this little silhouette if I had been suspended high over the crowd. When the show finally ended past midnight, another photographer spotted my step stool hidden in a corner of the venue and handed it back to me.

Shooting the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, a raucous annual celebration of all things heavy and hard rockin’, is always one of the longest and most brutal nights of the year. After two hours of arrivals — mostly bands I’ve never heard of — we are herded into Club Nokia in LA to shoot a three-hour awards show quite unlike any other. The awards and testimonials are mostly drowned out by deafening performances by bands who seem determined to outdo whoever just played before them. On paper this show is great for photographers, but somehow it’s always a very trying situation inside the venue. There never seems to be enough space carved out in there for us, and we’re usually just thrown into the crowd.

This year we were stuck in a corner of the club with barely any elevation over the standing audience. And anybody who’s been to a show in the past few years knows that virtually every idiot in the crowd seems compelled to hold his iPhone high over his head for nearly the entire duration. It makes getting clean concert photos tremendously challenging. Doesn’t anybody ever just want to live in the moment and just enjoy the show anymore? But that’s a topic for an entire separate blog entry in the future.

Knowing all of these factors in advance, though, I was prepared. I brought my trusty step-stool, and I’m already a rather tall fellow at 6’2”, so I knew the iPhone factor wouldn’t affect me as much as a few of my shorter colleagues. But during the first break in the show, something unexpected happened. I walked over a few feet to chat with a colleague and when I came back to my spot, the step-stool was gone. I couldn’t believe it! Now, I know I’m tall, and it has to be miserable for the poor folks stuck behind me, but come on now, stealing my ladder ? I looked around and asked a few of the metal fans behind me if they’d seen someone take it, but of course no one heard nothin’, no one saw nothin’, no one knew nothin’. And since some of these tatted and pierced metal fans are not exactly the tweedy collegiate types you run into at Coachella, I decided not to inquire too vehemently.

What to do then? Well, I made the best of it. Eventually the sea of hands will part for a few seconds during a performance, and you just keep shooting and hoping to get a good frame here and there. In the end, I had a pretty good night despite it all, and I may not have even seen this little silhouette if I had been suspended high over the crowd. When the show finally ended past midnight, another photographer spotted my step stool hidden in a corner of the venue and handed it back to me.

The Dillinger Escape Plan deliver a truly insane performance at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. First the blood, and yes, it’s real….

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Then fire…

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Then, of course, destruction…

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There are two kinds of still photographers at movie premieres. Those “behind the rope” or in the photo pen, as I was last night at the “Scary Movie V” premiere, and a few roaming photographers, usually shooting for the Hollywood trades (Variety and The Hollywood Reporter) or the studio in charge of the film. As you can imagine, the roaming photographers usually have to endure some truly ear-bleeding invective from those behind the line, as there is almost no feasible way not to block at least one photographer at these premieres, no matter where you stand on the carpet.
I’m sympathetic to both kinds of shooters, as I’ve been both a roamer and a behind-the-line guy throughout my career (often during the same week). If you’re on the carpet, your job is to get candid combinations of celebrities, or wide shots of the whole scene that capture the atmosphere of the premiere, i.e. shots that don’t look like they’re being shot from behind the rope, or else what’s the point? If you’re behind the rope, you are somewhat at the mercy of the roaming photographers, since you can’t move. Sometimes the roamers can park themselves right in front of you just as you’re about to nail a key photo you’re been waiting for all night. Thus the screaming insults, or at the very least, cries of persecution. When I’ve had to roam the carpet, I’ve been called names that shouldn’t be printed in any civilized forum by people who on any other day I would consider my friends. It’s just an integral part of this weird job.
When I heard about Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen showing up for the “Scary Movie V” premiere, I knew it would be a night of pure chaos. But my favorite photo of the night was this one with Mike Tyson pretending to bite off Charlie’s ear. As you can see, this happened far away from me at the opposite end of the carpet, and the roamers just swarmed in on the scene like bees. But they left just enough daylight for me to grab one good frame with my zoom lens. And I even kind of like how the foreground photographers (both good friends of mine, by the way) frame the shot and give it some context. But I know I’m in the minority here. If you’re on the carpet, you really ought to invest in a good pair of ear plugs, or else you’re going to walk around with some seriously hurt feelings. The sensitive need not apply!

There are two kinds of still photographers at movie premieres. Those “behind the rope” or in the photo pen, as I was last night at the “Scary Movie V” premiere, and a few roaming photographers, usually shooting for the Hollywood trades (Variety and The Hollywood Reporter) or the studio in charge of the film. As you can imagine, the roaming photographers usually have to endure some truly ear-bleeding invective from those behind the line, as there is almost no feasible way not to block at least one photographer at these premieres, no matter where you stand on the carpet.

I’m sympathetic to both kinds of shooters, as I’ve been both a roamer and a behind-the-line guy throughout my career (often during the same week). If you’re on the carpet, your job is to get candid combinations of celebrities, or wide shots of the whole scene that capture the atmosphere of the premiere, i.e. shots that don’t look like they’re being shot from behind the rope, or else what’s the point? If you’re behind the rope, you are somewhat at the mercy of the roaming photographers, since you can’t move. Sometimes the roamers can park themselves right in front of you just as you’re about to nail a key photo you’re been waiting for all night. Thus the screaming insults, or at the very least, cries of persecution. When I’ve had to roam the carpet, I’ve been called names that shouldn’t be printed in any civilized forum by people who on any other day I would consider my friends. It’s just an integral part of this weird job.

When I heard about Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen showing up for the “Scary Movie V” premiere, I knew it would be a night of pure chaos. But my favorite photo of the night was this one with Mike Tyson pretending to bite off Charlie’s ear. As you can see, this happened far away from me at the opposite end of the carpet, and the roamers just swarmed in on the scene like bees. But they left just enough daylight for me to grab one good frame with my zoom lens. And I even kind of like how the foreground photographers (both good friends of mine, by the way) frame the shot and give it some context. But I know I’m in the minority here. If you’re on the carpet, you really ought to invest in a good pair of ear plugs, or else you’re going to walk around with some seriously hurt feelings. The sensitive need not apply!

I’d be the first to admit that this isn’t a great portrait. It’s serviceable and professional, a decent day’s work. But sometimes that’s the best you can do. This was a portrait of “42” stars Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman for a story AP was doing on the movie, which chronicles baseball great Jackie Robinson. The press junket was at a location I’d never even heard of, called the Los Angeles Sports Museum. It’s a privately owned compendium of amazing Los Angeles sports memorabilia in a nondescript building in the industrial wasteland section of downtown LA. 
When I walked in, my imagination caught fire. The place was amazing, just rife with ancient jerseys, baseball gloves and bats, team banners, old stadium turnstiles, even a whole room devoted to Jackie Robinson’s career. It was the rare situation where a junket was being held in a truly interesting place. 
Then, of course, photographic reality set in. Virtually everything in the museum was behind thick glass, a photographer’s nightmare because of the certain, pain-in-the-ass reflections. And shooting without lights was out of the question, as the entire museum was bathed in green overhead fluorescent panels. Besides the fact that the publicist warned me not to use any Los Angeles Dodgers memorabilia, as Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, not LA. 
The Jackie Robinson room? Completely taken over by TV stations doing on-camera interviews. So suddenly my options were seriously limited. I found one area with a minimum of behind-glass memorabilia that I thought might work if I angled the lights just so. But then I looked around and couldn’t find a power outlet for miles. I don’t have a portable battery to power my lights, something I’m going to have to take care of soon. My extension cords are long, but even they couldn’t cover this much ground. 
After literally an hour of wracking my brains, I submitted to reality and realized I couldn’t really use this great location. Time was suddenly running short, with Ford and Boseman due to be in front of my camera in 45 minutes. And these portrait shoots, particularly with a legend like Ford, are never more than five minutes so you have got to be completely ready. I ran back to my car and snagged my portable black backdrop from the back seat. I set up a Softlighter II (kind of a half-softbox, half-umbrella concoction that is super-easy to set up) as my main light and an umbrella further behind me for fill. Then, since I was one light stand short, I asked the friendly New York Daily News photographer who had to shoot the fellas after me to hold a gridded light from behind them just to separate their heads and shoulders a little from the black background. 
It is what it is, I guess. The session started off really stiff, so I was happy that I got a little reaction out of them (when I asked the curmudgeonly Ford for a smile, he joked, “surely you can’t be talking to me.”). Sometimes you have to be happy with mere competent handling of a tough situation.

I’d be the first to admit that this isn’t a great portrait. It’s serviceable and professional, a decent day’s work. But sometimes that’s the best you can do. This was a portrait of “42” stars Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman for a story AP was doing on the movie, which chronicles baseball great Jackie Robinson. The press junket was at a location I’d never even heard of, called the Los Angeles Sports Museum. It’s a privately owned compendium of amazing Los Angeles sports memorabilia in a nondescript building in the industrial wasteland section of downtown LA. 

When I walked in, my imagination caught fire. The place was amazing, just rife with ancient jerseys, baseball gloves and bats, team banners, old stadium turnstiles, even a whole room devoted to Jackie Robinson’s career. It was the rare situation where a junket was being held in a truly interesting place. 

Then, of course, photographic reality set in. Virtually everything in the museum was behind thick glass, a photographer’s nightmare because of the certain, pain-in-the-ass reflections. And shooting without lights was out of the question, as the entire museum was bathed in green overhead fluorescent panels. Besides the fact that the publicist warned me not to use any Los Angeles Dodgers memorabilia, as Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, not LA. 

The Jackie Robinson room? Completely taken over by TV stations doing on-camera interviews. So suddenly my options were seriously limited. I found one area with a minimum of behind-glass memorabilia that I thought might work if I angled the lights just so. But then I looked around and couldn’t find a power outlet for miles. I don’t have a portable battery to power my lights, something I’m going to have to take care of soon. My extension cords are long, but even they couldn’t cover this much ground. 

After literally an hour of wracking my brains, I submitted to reality and realized I couldn’t really use this great location. Time was suddenly running short, with Ford and Boseman due to be in front of my camera in 45 minutes. And these portrait shoots, particularly with a legend like Ford, are never more than five minutes so you have got to be completely ready. I ran back to my car and snagged my portable black backdrop from the back seat. I set up a Softlighter II (kind of a half-softbox, half-umbrella concoction that is super-easy to set up) as my main light and an umbrella further behind me for fill. Then, since I was one light stand short, I asked the friendly New York Daily News photographer who had to shoot the fellas after me to hold a gridded light from behind them just to separate their heads and shoulders a little from the black background. 

It is what it is, I guess. The session started off really stiff, so I was happy that I got a little reaction out of them (when I asked the curmudgeonly Ford for a smile, he joked, “surely you can’t be talking to me.”). Sometimes you have to be happy with mere competent handling of a tough situation.

In this line of work, photographers are confronted with a whole lot of awful backgrounds. In 20 years of covering Hollywood I don’t think I’ve ever had a plain, unadorned backdrop at an event. Usually the step-and-repeats are festooned with garish logos or even worse, the names of various sponsors, often placed against bright white so that they ruin the photos as much as possible. It’s one of those annoying things that entertainment photographers bitch and moan about day after day. I’ve literally fantasized about shooting celebrities against a simple red velvet curtain. Maybe it even happened in the good old days of shooting Hollywood. But now, of course, we’re in a branded universe.
The event above was the premiere of the new film “The Host,” and for once the backdrop wasn’t too offensive. It was pretty much just the title of the film repeated every few feet, and the black and blue color scheme was rather attractive, I thought. As cast member Diane Kruger made her way down the carpet, I noticed that she periodically blocked the “S” and made kind of an amusing visual pun in the process. I cropped down to get the “The” out of there and make it even more obvious. If you can’t clean up the cluttered backgrounds, at least you can occasionally have some fun with them. 

In this line of work, photographers are confronted with a whole lot of awful backgrounds. In 20 years of covering Hollywood I don’t think I’ve ever had a plain, unadorned backdrop at an event. Usually the step-and-repeats are festooned with garish logos or even worse, the names of various sponsors, often placed against bright white so that they ruin the photos as much as possible. It’s one of those annoying things that entertainment photographers bitch and moan about day after day. I’ve literally fantasized about shooting celebrities against a simple red velvet curtain. Maybe it even happened in the good old days of shooting Hollywood. But now, of course, we’re in a branded universe.

The event above was the premiere of the new film “The Host,” and for once the backdrop wasn’t too offensive. It was pretty much just the title of the film repeated every few feet, and the black and blue color scheme was rather attractive, I thought. As cast member Diane Kruger made her way down the carpet, I noticed that she periodically blocked the “S” and made kind of an amusing visual pun in the process. I cropped down to get the “The” out of there and make it even more obvious. If you can’t clean up the cluttered backgrounds, at least you can occasionally have some fun with them. 

Bella Thorne is a good sport. This photo was taken during the 15-year-old “Shake It Up” actress’s visit to Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in south central LA to celebrate the school’s rising attendance rate. After speaking to the kids, she judged a dance competition and then joined in herself. 
I’ve been on many “teen celeb visits school” gigs over the years, and there’s nothing worse than a celebrity who just goes through the motions. Obviously young performers can get huge heads pretty early these days, and sometimes the overwhelming air of insincerity makes the whole event a farce and a drag. It’s particularly lousy when this happens at a school with a lot of poor kids. 
Thorne was definitely not like that. She got right into it when the dance competition commenced, at one point busting some moves with a particularly awkward young male contestant. I really admired the girl’s rosy vibe and infectious enthusiasm, which I think this photo captures.

Bella Thorne is a good sport. This photo was taken during the 15-year-old “Shake It Up” actress’s visit to Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in south central LA to celebrate the school’s rising attendance rate. After speaking to the kids, she judged a dance competition and then joined in herself. 

I’ve been on many “teen celeb visits school” gigs over the years, and there’s nothing worse than a celebrity who just goes through the motions. Obviously young performers can get huge heads pretty early these days, and sometimes the overwhelming air of insincerity makes the whole event a farce and a drag. It’s particularly lousy when this happens at a school with a lot of poor kids. 

Thorne was definitely not like that. She got right into it when the dance competition commenced, at one point busting some moves with a particularly awkward young male contestant. I really admired the girl’s rosy vibe and infectious enthusiasm, which I think this photo captures.

The Oscars show requires at least three cameras, as I think I used every lens in my arsenal up there, from gargantuan telephotos on tripods to the widest wide angle lenses. Every once in a while I’d grab my third body and poke my head through a tiny opening in my tripod rig to grab some overall shots of the stage. Some of the production numbers featured simply stunning production design, like this one for Barbara Streisand’s “In Memoriam” tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch (pictured in the image above the stage). As this was Babs’ big return to the Oscars stage after 36 years, I shot this performance every way I knew how: horizontal, vertical, tight, medium-range. About halfway through the song I briefly took my head away from the telephoto lenses and saw the overall shot with my own two eyes. I then realized there was only one proper way to shoot this — as wide as possible.

The Oscars show requires at least three cameras, as I think I used every lens in my arsenal up there, from gargantuan telephotos on tripods to the widest wide angle lenses. Every once in a while I’d grab my third body and poke my head through a tiny opening in my tripod rig to grab some overall shots of the stage. Some of the production numbers featured simply stunning production design, like this one for Barbara Streisand’s “In Memoriam” tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch (pictured in the image above the stage). As this was Babs’ big return to the Oscars stage after 36 years, I shot this performance every way I knew how: horizontal, vertical, tight, medium-range. About halfway through the song I briefly took my head away from the telephoto lenses and saw the overall shot with my own two eyes. I then realized there was only one proper way to shoot this — as wide as possible.

Usually at least once per Oscars, something bizarre or unexpected happens during the show, and everyone talks about it the next day. Not in the sense of a surprise winner of a category, but rather a crazy onstage moment like Michael Moore going off on a political tirade after winning Best Documentary, or Adrien Brody seizing the moment (and Halle Berry) after winning Best Actor. 
This year, Jennifer Lawrence provided the water cooler moment by tripping over her dress as she made her way up the steps to the stage to accept Best Actress. I don’t really see this as embarrassing, as she referred to it during her acceptance speech. It’s more of a charming, awkward moment, and it makes Lawrence seem like even more of a regular, down-to-earth gal.
Lawrence had been winning everything during awards season, so I trained my lens on her in the audience before the announcement was made. The gamble paid off, and my lens was luckily pointed in the right place when this happened.  

Usually at least once per Oscars, something bizarre or unexpected happens during the show, and everyone talks about it the next day. Not in the sense of a surprise winner of a category, but rather a crazy onstage moment like Michael Moore going off on a political tirade after winning Best Documentary, or Adrien Brody seizing the moment (and Halle Berry) after winning Best Actor. 

This year, Jennifer Lawrence provided the water cooler moment by tripping over her dress as she made her way up the steps to the stage to accept Best Actress. I don’t really see this as embarrassing, as she referred to it during her acceptance speech. It’s more of a charming, awkward moment, and it makes Lawrence seem like even more of a regular, down-to-earth gal.

Lawrence had been winning everything during awards season, so I trained my lens on her in the audience before the announcement was made. The gamble paid off, and my lens was luckily pointed in the right place when this happened.