Baltimore Sun: Clooney, Kidman, DiCaprio: Pikesville native Jeff Vespa photographs them all



“The difference between a great photo and no photo at all,” says Jeff Vespa, “can be one second.”

So says the celebrity photographer who has coaxed memorable portraits from Seth Rogen and Al Pacino, charmed Tilda Swinton and Zoe Saldana and even captured Leo DiCaprio playing with his phone at a Vanity Fair party last year, his treasured Oscar languishing on the floor.

“Everything is timing. … You have to have eyes in the back of your head and keep track of where everyone is and what’s happening everywhere in the room,” says the Pikesville native, 47, from his newly opened studio in suburban Los Angeles. “That is how you get the great shots that people remember.”

Timing has been key to his career: In 2001, he co-founded the photo agency WireImage, which sold to Getty Images in 2007 for $207 million.

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The Wrap: Haley Lu Richardson, Michelle Morgan Top Verge List of Rising Sundance Stars

Jeff Vespa, the official photographer of the Sundance Film Festival since 2003, on Wednesday unveiled his Verge List of emerging talent with movies at this month’s festival in Park City, Utah.

Haley Lu Richardson, Josh O’Connor and Trevor Jackson are among this year’s selections, featured in the new issue of Vespa’s digital magazine, Verge. O’Connor and Harris Dickinson are two actors hailing from the U.K., which Vespa says gives the list a broader range.

“This actually was one of the easiest years for choices,” he told TheWrap. “Every year, this is my favorite story to do. Meeting every actor and knowing this is just the beginning for them. It is fun to be a part of all of that. That is why I like doing this before the festival. Most of them have never been, and I can kind of give them some guidance on what to expect. They are in for a wild ride.”

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