Joe Pugliese's Mick Jagger and U2 Covers for The Hollywood Reporter
Joe Pugliese recently photographed a series of rock-and-roll legends for The Hollywood Reporter – Mick Jagger, who appeared on the publication's January 31 cover, and U2, on newsstands now.
For Jagger's time in front of the camera, Pugliese traveled to Natchez, Mississippi, where the Rolling Stones founder is producing a movie. "[Mick] wanted to make sure it wasn't a music-related setup – he wanted it to be about how he's in Hollywood," noted the photographer, who created a makeshift studio on-location. "He was instantly into it; there's no need to direct Mick Jagger. He knows how to hit his marks." He also took an interest in Pugliese's work: "Both of us sat down on a couch afterward and looked through the entire shoot, and had a nice debrief, which isn't normally part of the process, but there's a built-in amount of trust with someone like him ... like, his opinion will make sense. I could tell he liked a lot of the images, so we were in good shape."
Pugliese caught up with U2 in West London at Sunbeam Studios. For the group frames, he "let the band be the band, and it was really great. Bono kept his energy high and the band falls into place in an amazing way. They have such an awareness of each other." The individual portraits involved more sculptured light. "I wanted to do studies of their faces and think about the way the pictures pair together," he explained. "The Edge, Adam, Larry – they're recognizable on their own – and I ended up liking the singles more than the group shots."
He called it a treat to join the coterie of those who have captured the musicians, which includes some of his favorite photographers. "It's hard not to have an inherent frame of reference. I think Anton Corbijn's work with U2 is the strongest band photography that exists – it's really so iconic that you can't expect to reinvent the wheel," Pugliese remarked. "Part of the reason I waned to do the singles was because that's my normal approach – I wanted it to be about their features and my light, and the reaction I received from the guys felt good."