Monday, October 8, 2012

Q & A with photographer Jonathan Saunders

The following is an excerpt from an article originally found on

          Ever wonder who gets the killer job of globe-trotting and “shooting” celebrities, models, and rock stars? NYC-based photographer Jonathan Saunder's first-rate portfolio includes a diverse cast of personalities including George Carlin, Dewey Redman, Don Imus, Bill Gates, Chubby Checker, Michael Bloomberg, and even Tommy Conwell. “The more I befriend someone as I photograph, the better. I want my subjects to remember the entire process as positively as they can,” states Saunders. Checkout Jonathan's blog, I Like To Tell Stories

Q: Tell me your story photographing Tommy Conwell.

A: I photographed Tommy for the Philadelphia Magazine music issue. I also shot Chubby Checker and Schoolly D for the same issue. The idea the magazine had was to photograph these Philadelphia music legends at one of their favorite spots around the city. Unbelievably, I cannot find my notes on which diner this is, but we shot Tommy at a diner of his choosing, we just kinda showed up and they let us shoot, lights and all, it was wonderful. We picked a booth, set up and started shooting while Tommy told me and my assistant about performing, being a radio host, and diner stories. It was a really good time and Tommy was cool to photograph. 

From the article:
          "Tommy used to work here (Ranch House in Delaware). Flipping burgers and scrambling eggs for the late-night crowd, he wrote songs like "Walkin' on the Water" in his spare time and daydreamed of what was to come. Like every young guitar slinger, Conwell dreamed of becoming a rock star, rich, respected, and cool. Not for a second did he imagine himself hanging out at the diner a dozen years later, a man who actually got everything he dreamed of and let it go...
          It's well past 3am and the eggs and scrapple are long gone. Tommy goes dutch on the bill and rises to leave. A man whose fifteen minutes are up but whose coolness is genuine.

 ~ Out and About Magazine, 1997

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