Shooting with actor Jo Weil
for Harbor Magazine
It’s always complicated to plan shootings with famous people. The reason is that they are very busy and finding a date for the shooting is much harder. So when a designer friend and I planned to shoot an editorial with actor Jo Weil, it took a long time until we found the perfect date and location. But there were more reasons for the complicated planning process.
At first, we wanted to shoot either in Berlin or in Jo’s home of choice Cologne and we set a date with his management. The stylist who confirmed to be part of the project was from Munich – and he jumped off last minute because his costs would have been too high. So we had to reschedule the whole thing and realized that shooting in Cologne would be the best thing to do. But we needed a new stylist there…
Cologne is one of the greatest places for the television industry in Germany and although there are many stylists and make-up artists located in the city, we could hardly find anyone for the project who was free on the new date. Besides we had planned to publish the results in a great men’s magazine the involved designer was in touch with, but unfortunately, we had no confirmed publication option. This made several stylists refuse or jump off the project last minute too.
At a certain point, it wasn’t possible to reschedule anymore, so we tried to win over the stylist we had asked in the first place. We promised to come to Munich, so he wouldn’t have such high costs. Instead, everyone else would book a flight or train to Munich, which I immediately did after he agreed. Additionally, I bought shooting permission for the location we chose in Munich – which was over-hasty! Because again last minute we had to cancel the shooting (for several reasons…) and plan it in Berlin again. That’s how I happened to have an useless shooting permission in Munich (which I then used for my editorial „Vagabond“ about a month later).
After all the back and forth, everything worked out this time and the shooting day in Berlin arrived. In the meantime, I had found another stylist and also solved the problem of not having a magazine confirmation. I had emailed my concept to Harbor Magazine and the editor-in-chief immediately said yes to it. It was too easy… Please note: better do everything yourself.
So I picked Jo up at the airport that day and we drove to my former agency, where we would do the grooming and preparation. The weather seemed to be okay so far, but as soon as we arrived at the actual shooting location, it started raining. We had no indoor plan B and so we would play on that rainy look the city had, which turned out amazing! Fortunately, I had an assistant helping me keep the camera dry and so I could concentrate on Jo, who enjoyed staying in the pure rain like a young boy with gumboots. It was truly refreshing to watch him.
After two shot scenes, the weather changed again and the sun came out for some hours. People came out of their houses, passed our team and one of them had a cute little dog with him. He allowed us to integrate it in the shooting and so this sweet image was created:
Some little boys on bikes came to us and they asked Jo Weil if I was a famous photographer. We all had to laugh on this because they wouldn’t recognize him, who was in fact much more famous. Jo laughed it away – he was very funny and charming. We were all very amused the whole day and even some funny videos were done, where Jo was moving very goofy on purpose. The last image of the shooting turned out best because it started storming again and Jo ran into the rain. The wind was great for the coat he was wearing and the emotion was so real, I loved it:
All in all, it was a great relief when all images were shot, because the planning process had been so complicated and it’s never easy to handle rain at shootings. But the editorial turned out well. He might never wear such looks in a private context, yet you can see his personality shining through very plain. The magazine was satisfied with the shots, as well as Jo Weil, so I’d say: happy end.
Special thanks to the team: Konstantinos Gkoumpetis (Peppermint Circus), Marielena Krewer (Peppermint Circus), René Tornemann, Joyce Darkoh and last but not least: Jo Weil <3
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