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Editorial Portrait: Dr. Jay Lalezari

In print this month for the French magazine Science et vie is my editorial portrait of Dr. Jay Lalezari (Dr. Jacob P. Lalezari) of Quest Clinical Research in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Lalezari is working on a very promising HIV treatment that involves genetically engineered human cells that are resistant to the invasion of the virus that causes AIDS. He’s blazing some trails indeed.

Editorial portrait of Dr. Jay Lalezari. San Francisco, CA
Dr. Jay Lalezari, San Francisco, CA | Science et vie Magazine (France)

Shooting An Editorial Portrait In One Hour

The window of opportunity to shoot Dr. Lalezari was very narrow. We had less than an hour before he had to catch a flight at SFO and within that window he was busy. Shooting inside his office was a good start (obvious choice), but it didn’t yield a heroic portrait plus it wasted a little bit of time. The roof top was our second option. The images from that set up were decent and very usable, but they still didn’t grab the attention that Dr. Lalezari deserved. Time was running out, but on the way back inside the building I noticed the stairwell leading to the roof had interesting architectural lines. Four minutes later with 1 light, 1 shoot through umbrella, a few test shots, and only 10 captured frames – we get it.

Getting to photograph people who are able to change the world help make my efforts feel more worth while. Dr. Lalezari would have been fine with the portraits from his office, yet he saw how the extra set up had paid off without making him late. I learned a lesson on this shoot to not cave in early just because of time. Four extra minutes can really make a difference.


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