Like many of you, I can clearly see chapters of my life that begin and end based on moving to a new town or city, or having close family members or friends who have done the same.
Today's Throw Back Thursday takes a quick look at what now seems like another life for me - the fourteen years in the 1980s and 90s when I called South Florida home, including more than a decade running a commercial photo studio in Miami Beach, also know to the terminally hip as South Beach.
It was a pretty great time to live and work in Miami - even as a struggling artist - and especially as a young commercial photographer.
At the time, Miami and I seemed the perfect fit, and naturally I assumed i would end up spending most of my life in that tropical wonderland, but family matters unexpectedly forced me to move up to Central Florida in 1997.
That was over twenty years ago, and I'm still here.
As much as I miss my old life, a new chapter had begun, and I have never regretted the decision...
Early on, before I fully committed to a life and career as an artist and commercial fashion and portrait photographer, I mainly as a photo journalist. And even after those days were over, and I preferred not to shoot events, I still shot varous jobs for publicists and promoters from time to time. Towards the end of my time living in Miami, I was also hired to shoot South Beach night club and celebrity photos as a paparazzi.
Long story short, my assignments led to quite a few events I was required to attend. And often times, events meant press credentials.it's ok, I'm with the band...
Below you can see a small collection of some of the press credentials I saved from my time in South Florida. Some of the events I remember well, others not so much.
And while yes, there is a story behind each and every one of these badges, I have neither the time nor space here to tell it
Ok, one quick one - I shot a cover story for Miami New Times, a feature on Miami Heat backup center Alan Ogg. He rarely got to play, but was a fan favorite. A quirky lifestyle story that poked fun at him as much as it praised him.
Well, as part of my assignment, I had to photograph him actually playing in an NBA game, which means lucky me got game press photo credentials (as you can see in the photo below). Photographers get to sit right under the basket.
Now, here's the cool part. By the time the LA Lakers came to town, I had already finished all the photography for the story. My deadline had come and gone. But I lied, and told the Heat office I needed to shoot one more game, so they provided me a pass for the Laker's game.
Why did I do that? Well, obviously I wanted a free ticket and front row seat right under the basket to watch Laker's star Magic Johnson play in person, and oh yeah, he was great.
BTW, the John Wayne Bobbit VIP pass? It's probably better if I don't tell you what happened that night...
but wait! there's more!
Nostalgia is all well and good, and certainly fitting on a tbt, but the real reason I dredge all this up from the distant past is, it all may serve as fun promotional artwork for my upcoming gallery show South Beach POParazzi!
The one-person exhibition, sceduled for next February at The Leesburg Center for the Arts, will showcase my new pop art series featuring many of the celebrities I've had the pleasure of photographing during my years in Miami.
The series and show will certainly bring me full-circle - and probably give me closure as well - to a group of images I've never considered significant and have actually tried to forget. Looking back, the press credentials become an obvious symbol of the circumstances that often led to my photos.
Rest assured I will be posting much more information and many updates as the time of the show draws near.
Are you a fan of celebrities or celebrity news? Do you have any experiences meeting or photographing them? I'd love to hear any stories in the comment section below...
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All photos and original content ©Steven Paul Hlavac. All rights reserved.