Philadelphia

Celebrities in Philly: A 5th Anniversary Posting; Colin Firth Movie in Philly

First of all you know I was sick all last week, so I don’t have a new event for you yet. I was planning a few extra fun entries sometime this year to celebrate my fifth anniversary, like fun fashions over the past 5 years, how many hair styles has Nicole Cashman had and the who’s who of plastic surgery. Today we’ll start out with celebrities I’ve shot in Philly over the past 5 years. Hopefully Wednesday I will have something fun for you. And I hope none of you get this sinus infection, what an energy drainer.
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This year marks PhillyChitChat’s Fifth Anniversary on 7/7/12. Over the next few months I will be highlighting photos I’ve taken in the past 5 years of various subjects, like today’s “Celebrities I’ve Photographed in Philly.”
In 2005 my law firm sent me to NYC to work on a large case that was to head to trial. Originally I was only going to be there for 6 weeks, but it turned into 18 months, which really was a dream come true. After seeing every show on Broadway for the first couple months, I then discovered celebrities and sought them out to photograph them. In December 2006, I returned to Philly and “reality”. I knew there wasn’t a lot of celebs in Philly, but I hoped to find them. It worked out fairly well. The following are a few celebs I found in the past 5 years. (I also continued to shoot celebrities in NYC travelling there at least once a week for 2 years, then a lot less, until I stopped going in 2010)Within a week of me returning to Philly, there was a big time Red Carpet movie premiere of “Rocky” showing at the Prince Theater.
Then in February 2007, there was another Red Carpet premiere at the Prince Theater, “Pride” where Bernie Mac walked the red carpet. “Pride”, the story of Philadelphian Jim Ellis who started a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. Philadelphia’s Terrence Howard starred at Jim Ellis. I thought maybe Philly had more celebrities that I thought?And although Philly could never rise to the level of NYC or LA with regards to the plethora of celebrities. Philly doesn’t disappoint. (In NYC you can’t go a block without seeing a celebrity or a celebrity event. So it took a little attitude adjustment for me.) Patti Smith debut her documentary at the Philadelphia Film Festival April 08. Here she’s introducing her son to Thom Cardwell, Director of Development at Phila Film Festival. A bandmate is looking on.My Heart Be Still: Dionne Warwick and Teena Marie at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards 2009 at the Kimmel Center. Whatever happened to those awards?
Danny DeVito was in town filming exteriors for “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. I caught him walking around near the Parkway, as I happened to be walking home. I love this shot. 6/3/08
Chelsea Clinton came to Philly in 4/2008 to get votes for her mom in the Pennsylvania Primary. Mark Segal, Publisher/Owner of Phila Gay Newspaper chats with Chelsea and Gov Ed Rendell as OMG Rob “Meathead” Reiner looks on.

People ask me how do I find the celebrities I shoot. Mostly by reading the newspaper. Now it’s a little easier as there’s Twitter and sometimes I catch tips on there, and of course having 7,000 readers people tip me off. More times than not it’s just good old fashion detective work. A lot of times people don’t realize what is important, that’s why I have to be alert and monitor many different outlets, then I determine what I think would have mass appeal. Barry Manilow and his back up singers leaving Ralph’s Italian Restaurant in South Philly. It takes a lot patience to wait for a celebrity to leave a restaurant. In NYC you’re usually waiting with 2 or 3 other photographers, here in Philly it’s usually just me. It’s not one of my favorite things, but I’ll do it cause that’s how you get some of the heavy hitters. In Philly I’ve gotten Demi Moore, Dev Patel, Reese Witherspoon, crazy Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and a angry Jen Aniston. Now I hear that Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace To Film Mob Movie Here . More shots of celebs at restaurants and filming coming up. Charlie Mac Celebrity Weekend 2007: Mo’Nique
Sometimes I would be lucky and catch a celeb leaving their hotel on the way to a concert. David Lee Roth signs for fans at the Four Seasons, as he’s chomping on a cigar.
Jeff Daniels hanging on the set of “The Answer Man” in 2007, Grouchy guy, didn’t make it east to get a shot.
Jennifer Hudson interview with Laiya St. Claire for The Beat 100.3 in Philadelphia Contact Music Article 5/31/2008 Bradley Cooper in Limitless, moving some cones so his driver could make an almost speedy get away. (I love that movie.)
Michelle Williams, no not that Oscar nominated one, but the Destiny Child one, appeared in a play at the Merriam Theater. She’s posing with my bud Vince, who works for TMZ in NYC.James Taylor leaves the Ritz Hotel
Patti La Belle slipping into the Kimmel Center with her mink and minus make up 11/07
RuPaul here for the Phila Gay Film Festival. I just watched RuPaul’s Drag Race show yesterday, OMG had no idea it was so much fun. Look for it on Logo Online. Glad she found a career on TV cause the movie she was here to promote was a step above the worse Divine movie.John Colabelli, Publisher Philly Style Magazine, Actress Kerry Washington, Kristin Munro, Editor Philly Style Magazine and Jason Binn, Niche Media. PSM has brought a lot of celebs to town: Bon Jovi, Jarrod Spector (Loews presents Jersey Boys’ star, Jarrod Spector, at Solefood Restaurant and Lounge on Thursday, February 9th at 8:00pm.) Terrence Howard, John Legend, and many more..
Gov Rendell and Director Jonathan Demme at the Marian Anderson Awards 11/7/07

Brian Fortuna (r) competed on one season of Dancing With The Stars . He was partnered with former Miss USA Shandi Finnessey for Season 4. He burned up the dance floor with 6ABC’s Monica Malpass, who was a little shy about her dress and had this lovely lady stand in front of her.
John Leguizamo here promoting the M. Night Shyamalan film “The Happening”The great Maya Angelou receiving the Mariam Anderson Award in 2009
So cute, America Ferrera came to town in 2008 to stomp for Hillary Clinton in the Primary for President.
Honorable mention – Cameron Diaz near 20th & Locust filming “In Her Shoes” 2004, which was about 3 years before I became Philly Chit Chat. A year before I discovered what a blog was. Oh had I only know way back then… Hack with David Morse, filming across the street from where I live. 2003. Valentine’s Day is next week. Check out Top of the Tower on 2/11/12 for an Eddie Bruce Cabaret plus dinner & dancing; and pick your sweetie up a box of chocolates at Teuscher’s Chocolate ;
check out this new Colin Firth movie coming to Philly.