So what’s it like shooting the most famous soccer star of all time? Hurried. In fact, it’s a little like a game itself: loads and loads of preparation and practice, with a few crucial minutes to get the shot. Fortunately, we had a crack team of professionals on hand to make cover magic happen in what boiled down to a fifteen minute photo shoot.
The Pelé cover shoot all went down at Romero Britto’s Wynwood headquarters where a Hublot Loves Football press conference was taking place. Journalists had flown in from New York and all over the states for the famous footballer’s only North American stop. Fortunately, the space is large, and there was actually a sort of photo studio located off the main studio, where on a normal day, Britto and his team create art. That day, there were rows of chairs and television cameras poised to capture the grand unveiling of the World Cup edition Hublot and its hand-painted box by Britto.
While the press conference went on, the team worked to get everything just right for his arrival. I had my recorder cued-up for my 13-minute interview. Photographer Nick Garcia had the background, lighting and camera set up, ready for the star to simply jump into the frame, practicing on Haute Living publisher, Kamal Hotchandani to get the lighting and settings just right.
Meanwhile, stylist Elysze Held, had a smorgasbord of beautiful outfits she had pulled that unfortunately, he didn’t have time to put on beyond the smashing blue jacket from Billionaire that really complemented Pelé’s look and made the photos more vivid. Ditto Christina from South Beach Make-Up Studio, who had precisely 90 seconds to do a bit of grooming, but both her and Elyszes presence made everything go smoothly. After 30-minutes, the team had pulled it off, the article came out great, the Brazil issue was printed and shipped to Rio, where issues are still circulating at the World Cup’s swanker parties where they will be picked up by none other than the cover star himself.
Photography by Nick Garcia