B.B. King ©Deborah Feingold
BB King’s love affair with Lucille was legendary. Going into this shoot I knew that I wanted my pictures to show that passion.I arrived at the club early and was ushered backstage to the dressing room area. BB hadn’t arrived yet but I was told to go ahead in and set up my equipment. The room was small and painted a pale green color that someone, somewhere once decided was the perfect shade of awful for an artist to surround himself in before going on stage. But those walls faded as my eyes scanned the room and then abruptly stopped. Leaning against the wall, proudly showing off her curves and high satin finish was Lucille. A moment later, BB entered the room and everything suddenly became electric. BB took Lucille into his arms, and cradled her across his chest. He smiled and I started snapping away. A few frames into the shoot, I knew I was feeling the love, but I sensed that I was not “seeing” the love.
I stopped the session and quickly switched to a wider camera lens. Then I dropped to my knees, positioning myself right under his belly. I must have startled him because he started laughing, unsure of what was going to happen next.
There should have been a musical cue right then… by simply changing to a wider lens and a lower angle, I was able to compress, exaggerate and then illustrate their affection.
And that’s how you photograph LOVE.