I recently shot for a major hotel brand in Chicago, the weekend of Lollapalooza. It's the largest music festival in the country, so plenty of celebs were in an out of the hotel. One night I was doing my thing in the lobby, working on some shots of the commercial branding products, signage, etc. Suddenly my ears and eyes poked up when the still and silent lobby began to move. From the corner of my eye, I saw two burly men, flanking a woman wearing a white hat and sunglasses. They were walking with the type of urgency that would freak you out. As if someone just lit the wick of a firework and they were getting the hell out of there, so as not to blow their face off. I didn't need a DNA test or a side by side photo comparison, it was Lindsay Lohan. It couldn't be anyone else.
I wasn't about to book it in front of them, dive on the ground and try to grab some precious shots of her walking through a hotel lobby. I really don't care THAT much. As if the internet doesn't have enough photos of her walking around deliriously. So I followed them out the lobby entrance curiously, she jumped into the front passenger side of a black SUV, and just sat there for a few moments. It occurred, she was just kind of gawking at me. Probably thinking "what the hell is this guy doing?" Granted here I am with two huge cameras, i'm standing 10 feet away from her, just watching...taking in this life experience. Honestly...she was probably surprised I wasn't running up to the window, firing off shots of her through the glass? It's not my thing, paparazzis are the only people who stoop to that level. She sure wasn't batting her eyelashes at me because i'm incredibly good looking. It had been a long day...I could have used some hair gel, haha.
For a moment I had this existential epiphany, in which I saw a bigger picture of what was going on. Granted I hadn't slept in two days, was deliriously tired, and I had a nasty cold so there was a lot of DayQuil in my system. So maybe i'm blowing things out of proportion. But it felt like she was a hamster looking out of its plastic enclosure, towards a world it will never truly get to experience or know freely. Like a prisoner of her own mind, her own celebrity, her own ego. Let's be honest here, the most interaction she gets with the world is probably the time she spends being chauffeured quickly from my car to the next, or from one place to the other. Do you think she ever goes out into the middle of the street, on a bright summer afternoon, with a soft serve ice cream cone, taking everything in? I don't know if she does...but that's how it felt. The car pulled away and I went back inside and back to work. Only 3 minutes had gone by, I swear it seemed like 20. Just another day in my crazy life. It was the time Lindsay Lohan looked at me.