Respect The Shooter: Janette Beckman



Slick Rick

“So I was just with Bill Adler, he was the PR for Def Jam, and he had brought Ricky around to my studio that I had on Lafayette Street to do some publicity shots. I had my white seamless up and everything, and we’d decided to get a bottle of champagne for Ricky to relax him. Basically, I don’t ever pose my subjects, but what I do is if I’m working in the studio, I’ll put a little mark on the ground, like a little cross, and tell them, “Just stand here.” I’ve got my lighting all ready, and we’re sitting around chatting, he’s drinking, everything’s great, we’re having a great time. He finishes the champagne and I’m like, okay! So he steps onto the seamless with his little bag, I think it’s Fendi. He puts it on the ground where I’d marked the little cross, stands there, grabs his crotch. He’s still holding the bottle of champagne, I take the shot and that’s it. There you are. I mean it’s like, to me, it’s really an iconic shot and it shows so much attitude. He’s really smiling, he’s grabbing his crotch, the little bag is on the floor… I couldn’t have styled that if I’d wanted to. I just thought it was totally brilliant. Then of course we ended up going a bunch of other shots. A couple of years later, he came down to my studio and we did shots of him where he had guns in his hands and we were trying to put them on the cover for a book, and then he got arrested and put in jail. You know, my stories with Ricky go quite far, but nonetheless, he was a brilliant songwriter and rhymer. So that’s pretty much the story of that. The perfect pose. I think JAY Z has that shot in his book that he wrote. So I think the fact that Jay liked it is really cool to me.”

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