Voli Lights Vodka “Cell Phones for Soldiers” Benefit with Fergie
Greetings everyone and Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to my first blog for “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood” of 2013. My New Year’s Resolution was to write more frequent blogs to this site. I’m going to start by taking you back to December, and a really cool charity event I photographed. The event was a Benefit for “Cell Phones for Soldiers”. The Red carpet was hosted by Fergie, at the famous (and hard to get into) Skybar, on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” is a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans.
I arrived at the venue early thinking it would be a madhouse. To my surprise it was empty and no one I asked at the hotel in the venue knew about the event. My first thought was I went to the wrong location. After a few nervous minutes, I saw someone who instructed me where to go. Five minutes later one other photographer showed up. A few minutes later it got about as crowded as Grand Central Station at rush hour. We finally checked in and saw our places were marked right on top of each other. Luckily we had enough time to just fit everyone in. All was quiet until one foreign female photographer came just as the event was getting ready to start demanding everyone makes room for her in the center. She ended up getting into a very loud and public fight with another photographer.
Finally everyone chilled just as “Big Bang Theory actress, Kaley Cuoco arrived looking stunning. Another arrival highlight of the evening was Reality TV Star Aubrey O’Day ( girl group Danity Kane, Celebrity Apprentice). The evening defiantly belonged to the host. Fergie arrived dressed in a red sparkly dress. All eyes were on Fergie, as she made her way down the red carpet. She even stopped by a table set up on the carpet with the sponsors Voli Lights Vodka bottles and posed for candids. In the end a good time was had by all benefiting a wonderful charity. To donate and help support this non profit go to: http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/
10th Annual Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society (JHRTS) Holiday Party
The second official photo shoot I did on my last trip was the Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society (JHRTS) Holiday Party. JHRTS educational and networking organization for executives-to-be. I wasn’t familiar with many of the invited celebrities who walked the red carpet, but the stand outs personally for me were Lindsay Shaw (Pretty Little Liars), Madeline Zima (Californication), and Skyler Day (Parenthood). The reason I attended this carpet was to photograph a group out of Santa Cruz, California called Cruz Matik.
I was introduced to Reggie Reggie Stephens (Former NFL Player with the New York Giants) and J-Willz, by the amazing Denise Berry, of Living Dee Life http://livingdeelife.com. I took some pictures of the guys at a recording session, at the cool and modern, Indigital Recording Studio in Santa Cruz. A month later, I met up with the guys and Denise as they shot a new video for their song “Up All Night”.
Few weeks later on one of my rare days off in LA, I got a text from Denise that Cruz Matik, would be walking the red carpet at the “JHRTS” holiday party. Luckily I was able to get on the media list at the last minute. About half way through the red carpet the guys arrived. I always love seeing people I know at events. For one reason I can get eye contact and don’t have to worry about shooting from faraway to get the pictures I want. After saying hi to the guys they headed into the club. After the carpet was over and the photographers left, I decided to see if I could get inside the event (photographers almost always only have red carpet accesses). The party was packed so no one noticed that I didn’t have a wristband on as I made it inside. After walking around and trying to figure out where the guys were thanks to Facebook pictures they were posting, I found the VIP area. The band was hanging with executives and even the President of JHRTS. I got some cool candid and posed pictures of the group socializing and enjoying the evening. I have not seen them live yet, but I expect big things for this group in 2013. They really have an interesting and original style and sound. Check them out for yourselves here: http://www.facebook.com/cruz.matik
Hugh Jackman Honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
My final day and shoot in LA would fall under the Johnny Paparazzi category. One of the most fun events in Hollywood, are the Walk of Fame ceremonies. The cool thing about these events they are open to the public to watch. Unfortunately the event is impossible to get credentials for. My plan was to get there early and get a good spot. When I got there all the good spots were taken or the view would be obstructed by press and videographers. I knew this would be a point and shoot camera day. Hugh and Jay Leno walked in and said hi to friends. Just before the start of the ceremony I noticed that “Les Miserables” cast members Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried were in the crowd. Jay Leno gave a speech before Hugh stepped up to the podium and before Hugh’s star was unveiled. Seeing what a madhouse it was I knew it would be too hard to fight off autograph seekers and real paparazzi. I started to head towards where the cars were. Just my luck Anne and Amanda went off in other cars. I started to expect that the car in front of me was a decoy.
Knowing that they always have post Walk of Fame brunches, I started to walk towards the Roosevelt Hotel thinking that is where it was. Once again, lady luck was not on my side. Hugh, was escorted by security to the hotel, as he was being followed by a large number of fans, collectors and paparazzi. I decided to head to the parking lot area hoping that I could get some pictures from far away and not get into trouble with the hotel’s security. When I got there a small group of fans, collectors and photographers were there. I found out Anne had left. About a hour later the number of people got smaller and smaller. Finally a large group tried another exit. Seconds later Amanda in sunglasses and a long coat came out and got into her car. I cot a couple shots but they were from too faraway. The next departure was “Les Miserables” Director Tom Hooper (Oscar Winner for “The Kings Speech”). His driver began to drive past us then the car stopped. There was only 1 fan left so he rolled down the window and started to sign several items.
The people who left ran back to where I was. Now Hugh was the only one left. All the sudden they moved the final car (Hugh’s) to the other side of the parking lot. Once again, almost everyone but a few fans ran back. About five minutes later Hugh walked out of the hotel and said good bye to his family who got into another car. As I started to take shots of him from faraway, he looked at the small group of fans left. Instead of getting into his car and heading to the Tonight Show, he started to walk towards us. He greeted and signed autographs for everyone. As I took photos, I briefly spoke to him. He seems like a really good guy to take the time when he was on a very tight schedule. As he got in his car, the other photographers ran back and chased after the car. Score another one for the underdog. I saw the film and it’s amazing. By far one of my favorite films of the year. Hopefully Hugh will have a Golden day on Sunday at the Golden Globes.
Thank you for joining me for another sneak peak into some of Hollywood’s coolest events. For more celebrity photos and Entertainment news check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.shensa and follow me on Twitter at