Executive Group Photo With Rocky Statue has a story behind it that some of our friends might enjoy.
Driving around the Philadelphia Art Museum for years on my way into the studio, I have never ceased to be amazed by the constant line of people, summer, fall, winter, spring, at all times of day, waiting to have their photo taken in front of the Rocky Statue.
I am not, by nature, a fan of pop art. Being moved far more by the nobility and grace of the gleaming gold Jeanne D’Arc statue a short distance from Rocky, I find it hard to accept the fact that I have never seen anyone admiring that famous classic statue, or taking a photo of it, or photographing a loved one in front of it.
My Associate, Kristine Di Grigoli, although much more appreciative of pop art than I, also found the spectacle in front of the Rocky statue oddly amusing. She began to joke with me every time we drove by, about wanting to take my photo in front of the Rocky statue. She insisted that I secretly wanted to have my photo taken in front of Rocky with my arms raised in the victory salute. Naturally, I insisted that she was crazy and that it would never happen.
Then one day in April of last year, I got an assignment from a company that had a yearly tradition of taking a group photo every spring in some special place. That year they had chosen the Rocky statue as the background for their next photo session. As I accepted the assignment, I groaned and grumbled at the irony of having to photograph a group of executives in front of the one statue in Philadelphia that had become my pet peeve.
My associate Kristine laughed with glee and insisted on helping me with the shoot, intent on getting that photo of me in front of Rocky. I told her I didn’t need her help. Naturally she promised to show up anyway.
Actually it was a good thing she did. I showed up about 20 minutes before the white bus was scheduled to arrive in front of the museum with the executives. Just as I set up my ladder and put down my camera bag, I was approached and hassled by the photo hustlers that hang out at the statue. They kept asking me if I wanted them to take my photo with my camera in front of the statue.
As I was trying to explain to the hustlers that I was there to take a group photo, and that I was a professional photographer, the bus pulled up and the people from the company started to disembark and head up the steps, not knowing where the statue was. Fortunately, Kristine showed up just in time to watch my equipment, allowing me to run off to find the company contact person and herd the people back down the steps and over to the Rocky statue.
Needless to say Kristine got the shot she was looking for, and I got the shot the company was looking for. It was fun and unforgettable. Although she didn’t get me raising my fists over my head, she did get a shot of me in front of the statue laughing whole-heartedly. It was a victorious day for both of us.