Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Someone with this much talent and recognition might be expected to be difficult and even egotistical subjects. Instead, I found Massimo and Lella Vignelli to be some of the wisest, warmest and most charming creative people that I’ve ever photographed.

Their upper east side design studio was beautifully and minimally designed, softly lit by a fifteen foot high wall of windows. I also photographed them together and separately in front of an enormous tapestry by Roy Lichenstein and a bust of Massimo’s favorite literary figure, Goethe.

During our session, Massimo was fascinated by the design of my camera. In a matter of minutes, he effortlessly sketched the evolution of modern cameras.

A few months after our still shoot Massimo consented to my request to do a short film documentary on him.  That footage turned out very well. Massimo's perspective on the world of graphic design is fascinating. You'll also see a beta version of his upcoming iPad and iPhone app with an new, updated version of Massimo's 1972 NYC Subway map. The film highlights the opening, in September, of The Vignelli Center for Design Studies. I recently did a little more filming with Massimo, Lella, and Beatriz Cifuentes, a talented designer who works with the Vignellis, to complete the documentary. This seven minute film — which I plan to have online by late August — will be my first serious, albeit brief, effort at filmmaking.

photo: Kyle Dorosz

Behind the scenes on my mini – documentary shoot from last Thursday.

photo: Beatriz Cifuentes