Taylor Hicks and Marilyn Monroe: A Photographer’s Story
By Holley Dey ©2010 OnTapBlog All rights reserved
All photographs provided by Taylor Christian Jones and reproduced with permission. The car had been purchased at auction, and was made available for the photo shoot by a private collector. Two truckloads of equipment and gear traveled Interstate 65 from Nashville to the local Birmingham warehouse where the session took place. In all, two months of planning and preparation were invested before a single picture was taken, and before Taylor Hicks took the driver’s seat in the 1962 convertible. The Chrysler 300 is in pristine condition. The odometer reads 4900 miles and the paint is original. Originally owned by MGM Studios and driven by Marilyn Monroe, the car was a perfect fit for the “old Hollywood” feel that photographer Taylor Christian Jones hoped to create for the photo shoot.
The weather was particularly cold on the day of the shoot, but it was warm inside where both Hicks and the production team were upbeat and enthusiastic about the project. Boyd reports that Taylor Hicks was a true southern gentleman, charming the production team with his good natured conversation and sense of humor. When a few extra minutes were needed to retrieve a missing wardrobe item, Taylor kept everyone entertained, cracking jokes and taking several additional pictures. The photo session had been scheduled for thirty minutes, but half an hour soon became three hours in front of and around Taylor Jones’ digital camera (Canon 5D Mark II). At one point, Hicks claimed the camera himself to review the images. Taylor Jones was surprised to find that the musician could operate the relatively complicated camera without instruction. Taylor Christian Jones is himself relatively new to photography. The now 23 year old reports that his first commercial shoot was completed at age 20. He calls what he does his “obsession” rather than his profession, a reflection of his intense focus. Jones has photographed several bands including Switchfoot and Need to Breathe, as well as singer Ted Nugent. Jones recently filmed his first professional music videos, and envisions a future in cinematography. Taylor Jones provided the photographs of Ruben Studdard included in the 2009 EXCURSIONS guest directory. The 2010 edition of EXCURSIONS fills 92 pages, featuring Taylor Hicks and including Taylor Jones’ stunning photographs of the musician and the classic Chrysler automobile. The book will be a staple of hotel guest rooms throughout Birmingham this year. A limited number of copies are available for direct purchase. Inquiries may be directed to Brent Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The production team. Back row, from left to right: Taylor Christian Jones (photographer), Kris McAuley (production assistant), Allison Jones (shoot producer), Taylor Hicks, Brent Boyd (President/CEO, CityVision). Front row, from left to right: Celine Chenowith Russell (shoot stylist), Krista Conlin (Vice President, Wilbanks Agency)
For more on photographer Taylor Christian Jones: http://www.taylorchristianjones.com/links.html
For more on singer/musician Taylor Hicks: http://www.taylorhicks.com/
For more on CityVision: www.cityvision.tv
To view last year’s (2009) CityVision Excursions Travel Guide: http://publications.ingagepublication.com/EXCURSIONS2009/
For more on Old Car Heaven: http://oldcarheaven.com/