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  • Etta James, A&M Records, Santa Monica, CA, 2007 - Morrison Hotel Gallery
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Etta James, A&M Records, Santa Monica, CA, 2007


I was hired to photograph Etta James for a CD/DVD project, which Etta was to sing a song made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. The producers wanted to shoot her in video but Etta was not comfortable with that and would rather be captured in stills. I was hired to shoot as many images as I could because it was going to be used as visual with a music and talking track. I was asked first before I was hired if I can shoot digital, this was a stipulation to being hired. I was told that it would have to be shot with available light, and was I comfortable with that? So with all this, I was very comfortable with doing this shoot, in fact, I was stoked since I have been a fan of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. The shoot was at my old hang out area, the old A&M Records complex and recording studios which has been taken over by The Green Frog, Jim Hansen’s company. I arrived at the recording studio and went into the control room and bumped into an old friend who was producing the CD, Phil Ramone. It was like old home week shooting at a long time ago hang out with friends from many years back on other projects. Phil was happy to see me and remarked that now we will get great shots. I was told that I would be put into the singing booth with Etta and would be able to shoot during her rehearsing the song. Etta walked in and I introduced myself, I was a bit nervous since I had not had the chance to sit with her and talk over what I was to shoot. She gave me a huge smile, which broke the ice, and I began to capture her singing and talking to the producer. I had minimal lighting so at 2.8 I had a shutter speed of 1/30 sec. I held the camera tight and leaned against the back wall. Being able to check what I was shooting gave me a great ease while I was shooting where and when I shot film, it would take three hours to see what I got after the lab got to the film. Digital rocks. -- Richard E. Aaron

Photograph printed from the original film or digital file.
Hand-Signed/Estate Stamped by the Photographer or Estate.
Limited Edition Available in Select Sizes.
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Etta James, A&M Records, Santa Monica, CA, 2007 - Morrison Hotel Gallery
  • Blues
  • Soul
  • Etta James
  • Richard E. Aaron