BIG BREAK INTERVIEW:
Upon graduating from the International Center for Photography, Barry
Morgenstein landed a position as an assistant to renowned music photographer
Mark Weiss. Within two years, he was the top photographer at the agency.
Barry shot primarily concerts and studio sessions, building a magnificent
portfolio and a reputation that allowed him to found his own photography
BIGBreakNY: How did you get started in photography?
BARRY MORGENSTEIN: I started out as a musician, and I wanted to
be around music. I got a job as an assistant to a music photographer (Mark
Weiss). I then started shooting for an agent. I developed a portfolio
and went on my own.
BBNY: What is it that you like about photography?
BM: I love being around creative people. I love the art of acting,
music and people. I think that I am good at capturing the people. I was
actually an extra on the soap “Another World” and was asked
to play as a photographer.
BBNY: How did you build a clientele?
BM: I built a music portfolio. I shot a lot of models and showed
the portfolio to a soap magazine in New Jersey. They called me to shoot
a soap star, and ever since then I have been shooting actors.
BBNY: How did you begin to shoot celebrities?
BM: I was hired by Capital Records and then moved on to shoot
for Virgin Records and Rolling Stone. So I had the opportunity to shoot
BBNY: What should an actor look for in a photographer?
BM: They should look for a photographer that can capture what’s
on the inside. I think that that is one of the things I am really good
at. I like simple lighting and focusing on the person. I also like to
have the headshots focus on the eyes. The headshots shouldn’t look
any different than you look in person. You don’t want a headshot
looking like anyone else.
BBNY: What occupies most of your time right now?
BM: I spend most of my time on headshots. I’ve built up
a name by coming into the city, and doing magazine shoots. I’ve
shot publicity photos, DJs, and Newscasters. This week I shot an R&B
artist, and last week an opera singer. It’s great to be able to
work with all different types of people. Things are always coming up.
I also shoot children and all kinds of other events.
BBNY: What is your favorite shoot?
BM: It would have to be when I was working for Capital Records
and I got to shoot Paul McCartney. I am a big Beatles fan, so that was
big for me.
BBNY: What types of things do you like to do when shooting?
BM: I like when I can shoot an actor or actress for a magazine
and be creative. I love being able to do an entire layout. I also love
to shoot on location.
BBNY: Where do you mainly shoot?
BM: I shoot mainly in NYC. I’ve never been to L.A. but
would like to. People however will just fly in just for headshot. It surprises
me but I’ve had people from South Carolina, Florida, and Connecticut.
BBNY: How long does a session last?
BM: A session lasts about 2½ hours.
BBNY: Do you have make-up artists who work for you?
BM: Yes, I have two makeup stylists: Rachael Robin and Lauren
Walsh. We are good friends and work great as a team because of it.
BBNY: Do you suggest that actors call you and meet you prior to their
BM: I encourage people to call and meet to see my work. I think
that you need to feel comfortable with the photographer. I am pretty laid
back so that is why I am comfortable meeting people.
Barry Morgenstein’s studio is located on 130 West 25th Street between
6th and 7th Avenues on the 4th floor.
For more info call (212) 647-1288.
Click here for a sample of