“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.