Tasked with finding a bar that would open its doors at 3PM the next day for a photo shoot meant some serious hustling, as it was already late in the day. Wired Magazine was doing a feature story on Eugene Kaspersky, the Russian founder of Kaspersky labs, multi-millionaire, International playboy (his words) and close friend of Vladimir Putin.
Six bars later, I had scouting photographs and verbal agreements from the owners to let me shoot. Then the call came - Kaspersky wanted to catch an afternoon flight to Miami, could we do the shoot first thing in the morning? Most of the bars in the area near his hotel closed around 4AM, so finding one that would agree to opening their doors at 8AM seemed like a challenge.
After having a few turn me down outright, I arrived at our first choice bar with a big smile (and an envelope of cash). Mission complete - the bar owner (thanks Vickie!) was right on time the next morning to unlock the door. The shoot went off without a hitch, despite encountering a good-sized termite swarm as we set up in the poorly-ventilated basement bar in the middle of DC's heat wave. Kaspersky even enjoyed a drink of low-grade Russian vodka at 10 in the morning before catching a taxi to the airport.
Good photography often involves the left-brain/right-brain dance of problem-solving and creativity.
More images plus the Wired tearsheet can be seen here.