Playboy, bunny

Simon Cowell, photographed in Miami for GQ, bunny wrangling by Kristian Basanta

This shoot was in danger of going off the rails because the subject was actually too much into our props.

Of course it didn’t start like that, as when we sent Simon Cowell’s publicists our detailed list of ideas the only response was “…straight-forward portrait.” But Justin O’Neill at GQ Magazine, God bless his heart, gave us the directive to be prepared with our two favorite shot ideas – just in case.

As it happened Simon would have nothing to do with our “cutting fruit dangerously” idea (including the option of an awesome mini-guillotine) but he just couldn’t resist our bevy of bunnies.

We literally had a couple dozen bunnies, in many sizes and colors, and shot with a number of them, but most of the shots are look ordinary as Simon was genuinely taken with petting them. It was sweet to see this notoriously hard to please man, looking, well, pleased, but it didn’t really make for an powerful portrait. It was only when they both closed their eyes that the magic happened – I suppose that we prepare well and work hard for the happy accident.

Weapons of fruit dissections. Cristina Forestieri, Prop Stylist; Chris Allen Darsow, guillotine builder

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