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- Posted on Apr 15th 2011 10:30AM by David Chiu
Most people see rock stars leading ridiculously glamorous lifestyles. Whether it's sporting lavish costumes onstage or getting snapped by paparazzi at wild parties, they seem to be having the time of their lives ... at all times. But few know what they really do on a typical day. That is where photographer Tim Hailand comes in. For his latest project, Hailand separately photographed Rufus Wainwright and Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears for an entire day. The results of those shoots are two photo books: 'One Day in the Life of Rufus Wainwright' and 'One Day in the Life of Jake Shears.'
Hailand has known Rufus Wainwright and Jake Shears for about 10 years and the idea for the books came to him while on assignment covering Shears. "Most of my work is portrait-based," he tells Spinner," and I'm always looking for a theme or a structure when showing multiple images of a subject. I like the framework of one day, something we all have and can relate to. Every day is just another day in our lives."
The photographer shot Wainwright and Shears on days when they were scheduled to perform: the former at the Boston Opera House and the latter on the opening night of Scissor Sisters' 'Night Work' tour in London. "I met them at their place," says Hailand, "and just followed along during the day, sometimes interacting, sometimes just being around and taking photos. We took a break for fresh air or coffee or something like that, but pretty much were together all day -- from starting in bed and back to bed at the end of the day."
Hailand estimates that he took approximately 2,000 photographs for each day spent with Wainwright and Shears; they were then narrowed down to about 90 for each of the books. The photographs of Wainwright and Shears performing are shown in color, but the offstage moments are rendered in black and white. (Hailand compares the approach to the movie 'The Wizard of Oz').
In his commentary for the book, Wainwright spoke of his mother, singer Kate McGarrigle, who had passed away seven months prior to the concert. "We actually shot his day in Edinburgh at the beginning of his tour in April," recalls Hailand. "Upon viewing the images, Rufus could sense his sadness, and kindly asked if I would re-shoot the day. I was happy to oblige. I feel that Rufus is a truly great artist, and it's really a pleasure to be around someone who is so talented."
In the Shears book, the singer and other members of Scissor Sisters are photographed playing at the Brixton Academy. Earlier in the day, however, Shears is depicted doing normal things such as taking a shower in his hotel room and later staring reflectively inside a restaurant. "Jake is a smart and serious guy," Hailand says, "also funny and quick-thinking. There is definitely a pensive side to him and an extroverted, flamboyant side. I love Scissor Sisters and have been photographing them for years. The performance at Brixton Academy that I captured was one of the best I have seen from them."
Hailand describes his style of work as "realistic" and says he hopes the books will be historical documents of the present. "The majority of photographic works created and presented today involves so much digital manipulation that I don't think it gives an accurate portrayal of what the world is really like. I like honesty and respect, and try to convey that with my work."
As for other artists he would like to take part in the 'One Day in the Life' series, Hailand mentions names such as Madonna, Morrissey, Beyonce and Lady Gaga. "I'm working on getting Kylie [Minogue] in the series," he says. "She wrote [the afterword] for Jake's book. Call me Kylie if you read this!"