On Set with Ian Spanier: Photographing a Celebrity

Ian Spanier

Join Ian Spanier on set as he photographs a celebrity portrait.  Ian’s task for this particular shoot is to create images that would be right at home in any celebrity magazine, whose images often have a lighter, airy quality about them.  The first part of this segment you’ll be a fly on the wall watching the session unfold.  Afterwards Ian will walk you through his light setup and explain why he’s taking this approach and how he creates the final images.  You’ll also see how he interacts with his subjects, who are often actors, musicians or other celebrity types who have their own personalities to add to the mix.

Ian Spanier Bio

When he was six years old, Ian Spanier received his first point and shoot camera, and from there his fate was sealed. He majored in photography in college and then worked in publishing, though his love for pictures never left him. Ian went beyond his 35 mm experience and taught himself medium and large format photography as well as lighting techniques. His self-taught methods must have done the trick because Ian went on to have a long and distinguished list of clients, including MTV, HBO, Men’s Fitness, Marie Claire, Conde Nast Traveler, Bank of America, The New York Times, Simon & Schuster, Price Waterhouse and many, many more. Ian has published several books including Heroes: America’s Volunteer Fire Fighters (2012) and Playboy, A Guide to Cigars (2010), both of which received rave reviews. What has made his work so spectacular is his ability to "shoot what he sees", and he is continually inspired by great photographers who have come before him. Previously a NY resident, Ian now lives with his family in sunny California, though his work still takes him all over the world.


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