The following output was transcribed from our audio recording.
Although the transcription is largely accurate, it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
It is posted to aid in understanding the interview but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Mindy Cohn 00:00
Well hello and welcome to another episode! I could not and would not be able to do Monday's with Mindy without my co host and co producer the gorgeous Christian Brescia
Christian Brescia 00:11
Thank you! Hello everybody. Welcome back.
Mindy Cohn 00:14
Sorry I'm just blushing over how gorgeous you are. Today's conversation is was with one of the most talented and versatile photographers on the planet ––– Douglas Friedman. While most renowned photographers hone in on a specialty, Doug moves effortlessly between portraits, interiors, fashion, advertising and travel making each appear like it's his only area of expertise. Doug was born and raised in New York City came west to Los Angeles for college and worked for a few years in the film industry. After working as director David Fincher's assistant during the filming of his amazing movies seven, the game, and fight club. Doug left with his camera and headed to Indonesia from there travelled around the world for the next year and a half shooting everything he came across from The Sherpas at the foot of Mount Everest to sharks below the sea near Borneo
Christian Brescia 01:04
Wow that's awesome.
Mindy Cohn 01:04
To all the architectural vernacular in every port of call along the way. He returned to New York in the late 90s. I mean, like if that's not enough...wait! He becomes even more prolific in the late 80s. He begins to study photographic technique and theory with an emphasis on architecture and design but also fashion and portraiture leading him to become an in demand portrait photographer for Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, in style magazines while simultaneously shooting covers for wallpaper, Domino and Elle decor.
Christian Brescia 01:34
Mindy Cohn 01:34
Yeah, really? But, wait!
Christian Brescia 01:37
Mindy Cohn 01:38
Currently between exhibits, which he's had two, design and construction of his ranch in Marfa, Texas, which is such a spectacular property at the hands of Doug. His monthly Architectural Digest shoots. Most of the covers are Doug. He jet sets as much as his high profile portrait subjects. His creativity is only matched by his ridiculous good looks. And he is truly one of the loveliest, funniest people to be around. I can't wait for everyone to meet and talk with Doug.
Christian Brescia 02:06
Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to welcome to the show, Mr. Douglas Friedman. Welcome, Doug.
Mindy Cohn 02:12
Doug Friedman 02:13
Hi Hi, how are you?
Christian Brescia 02:15
Mindy Cohn 02:15
So good to see you. So, we start each episode with our trusty Jonathan Adler secrets jar and just ask some random questions to get it going. Okay...
Doug Friedman 02:25
so do you reach in? You do reach in.
Mindy Cohn 02:29
there's 20 questions in there. Each pulled at random so we'll see what what you get. Ready? Okay. How do you get inspired or who inspires you? Kind of newly like, Who are you newly inspired by?
Doug Friedman 02:40
Um, okay, this is gonna sound really odd, but I have recently been inspired by chickens. And that's no joke.
Christian Brescia 02:48
Okay...? Please elaborate!
Mindy Cohn 02:51
Tell the people!
Doug Friedman 02:53
During the three and a half months I spent by myself in the West Texas desert and town of 1700 people I started a chicken ranch and I mean a chicken farm excuse me, I started a chicken farm and I raised 30 chickens and they inspire me. They really really do. To see something grow from the size of like my fist to this under my care, under my watch. Kind of gave me inspiration every single day.
Christian Brescia 03:20
That is amazing.
Mindy Cohn 03:20
you're a daddy!
Doug Friedman 03:22
Happy Father's Day to me right?
Mindy Cohn 03:25
in a different way than you've ever been a daddy before.
Doug Friedman 03:27
I've never been a daddy like this!
Mindy Cohn 03:31
Next question. Oh, this I think might be hard for you. What's your favorite place in the world and why?
Doug Friedman 03:42
gosh, you know, it's it's my I think my favorite spot is here in Marfa Texas. It's it's kind of an easy answer for me. I've had the privilege and the pleasure of traveling to so many places for work for fun. And and this is the place eight years ago then I fell in Love with this with a pile of dirt. Literally I fell in love with 10 acres of dirt and I continue, everyday to love this place.
Mindy Cohn 04:07
Well, you've turned it into a Shangri La that I am just jonesing to get to.
Doug Friedman 04:12
We're gonna get you down here.
Mindy Cohn 04:13
Oh, hell yeah. Mm hmm. Okay. All right. I think this also may be a little bit more challenging. Who knows only cuz you've met the world. Who's the most fascinating person you've met?
Doug Friedman 04:23
Um, gosh, I think it would have to be I mean, it's gonna be a tie between Hillary Clinton and Faye Dunaway they were but I mean, Hillary only had 10 minutes to shoot two portraits like she is so incredible.
Mindy Cohn 04:34
In New York cover a magazine New York magazine cover,
Doug Friedman 04:37
Yes, which was originally shot for Harper's Bazaar. Okay, but it was it was two minutes with this woman who 10 minutes sorry. She was so remarkably charismatic in a way that you just don't understand on television or radio or the media in person. I was I was I was all struck by what he had to say and how she said it and Just her energy and Faye Dunaway was one of the greatest and one of the worst photoshoot experiences of my life.
Mindy Cohn 05:06
ok, I just have to stop you before you tell the story and you need to but I asked Isaac Mizrahi the same question and it was Faye Dunaway!
Doug Friedman 05:15
Was it really? Well I didn't even hesitate, but she was I mean it was we were doing to commemorate the I think it was the 25th anniversary of of network or Chinatown and for Harper's Bazaar again and and she was in hair and makeup for six hours. She was throwing hairbrushes she was throwing the makeup artist out of the room, the hairstylist, I was then in wardrobe with her and the stylist and I hold up this dress I was like Faye, what about this dress and she grabs it and she looks at it. She throws it at me and says you want it you think I want to look like goddamn Joan Crawford!? We got three pictures over five hours and it was endless abuse like Friedman, you call yourself a photographer!? I shot with People Magazine yesterday and the pictures are better than these! It was like endless insults. It was unbelievable, she was so manipulative, she was so cruel and secretly I loved every minute of it. Telling me how horrible I was for six hours, and I don't. And then at the end of the day, we are just like this last picture and I'm trying to do something really heroic like looking up at Faye Dunaway at the Chateau Marmont pool and she's in a beautiful tuxedo and it's and she's like, raise the camera Friedman, more! like raise the camera. And you know, I really want this to be more of a picture and she goes but I don't want to see this and she like she grabbed her neck and I said Don't worry about it. I'll take care of that she yelled I don't trust you Friedman raise the camera! So I find myself going from on the floor on top of an eight foot ladder shooting down on Faye Dunaway with all that light, she's still not happy. And she comes running at me her foot catches the cable, the camera falls over and rolls into the swimming pool. And I was like, shoots over, Faye. I was like, nope, it's over.
Christian Brescia 07:15
Mindy Cohn 07:16
Wow, wow. Wow, who is someone you have yet to shoot that you want to shoot? Who's who's in your top? Like, three or four people?
Doug Friedman 07:26
I mean, what pops into my mind is, is President Obama, Michelle Obama. Yeah, and I say that because I just want to bask in the glow of who they are. Just for a minute. 30 seconds just to kind of gaze upon it. And see what that feels like.
Mindy Cohn 07:42
Uh huh. Uh, what's your guilty pleasure?
Doug Friedman 07:45
Um, oh, my god. There's so many.
Mindy Cohn 07:49
Yes, we share a couple I'm sure.
Doug Friedman 07:52
We probably should. I think the ones god the guilty pleasure that I have right now. I mean, I think it has to be food, oriented. Yeah, it was it was I had a major kind of thing with fast food yesterday.
Mindy Cohn 08:06
That's rare for you.
Doug Friedman 08:07
I'm not gonna say which fast food chain it was. So I don't upset anybody, but it was incredible. And it was a lot. And that's kind of what you do when you drive across the state of Texas.
Mindy Cohn 08:17
Yeah, I bet.
Doug Friedman 08:19
Breakfast was Waffle House. If you live in New York City, you're not familiar with Waffle house cause the nearest one is like somewhere deep in Pennsylvania.
Mindy Cohn 08:25
Yeah. Right. But you've been, but if you've been in the south, you're very well aware of what a waffle house is. And I am!
Christian Brescia 08:31
Especially late night.
Mindy Cohn 08:32
Doug Friedman 08:32
Let's just say that is my obsession now, the waffle house, because they bring you the waffle that is the size bigger than my head and they've embossed "Waffle House" in the waffle and then you find yourself wanting two and more butter.
Christian Brescia 08:46
It's the little things, or the big things, I guess in this case.
Mindy Cohn 08:49
Yeah! And lastly, from this fabulous jar of ours among your friends, what are you best known for?
Doug Friedman 08:56
Well, gosh I don't know. I think I think my friends laugh at Oh, they're so kind my friends. They laugh at the things that I say.
Mindy Cohn 09:05
Cuz you're funny, Doug cuz you're funny! And, you are a great storyteller. I do have to say...
Doug Friedman 09:11
Thank you. I'm just a humble chicken farmer from West Texas.
Mindy Cohn 09:14
Yeah, right! Good luck!
Christian Brescia 09:16
Career change after Faye Dunaway!
Mindy Cohn 09:21
So, basically, uh, you know, Doug, Christian and I started this podcast in the era of COVID. Because what I had missed is a crucial part of my life, which is being around other creatives I tend to, we feed off each other, we inspire each other, we create with each other. And so I just wanted to start gabbing with the creatives that I respected admire. And so we're going to just do a deep dive in and talk about your creative process, which I know for most people is different or they don't have one, but how would you define it in this moment here and now, your creative process, you know...
Doug Friedman 09:57
um, it's been really interesting during this period of COVID And, you know, I know it's been very difficult for most people and it was it was challenging for me to stop everything and be still and stay put for three and a half months alone in the West Texas desert. But I found that the like I started to create things for a completely different reason that I've ever created anything before. I'm a commercial photographer, so I had I made that choice, you know, 20 years ago not to be an art photographer but to be a commercial photographer. I wanted to make money and have a life that I kind of, you know, dreamed of. And during this period, like I didn't work for money, I worked just for the sake I created just as a sake of creating things of doing things and I enlisted friends at ad agencies and creative agencies that were also telling me they love just doing things just to do it for the sake of doing it which is a whole other thing. I mean, you when you when there's no paycheck at the end of it, you created differently. And the product is different. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 11:03
yeah. I mean, you've had exhibitions before. I think two, maybe three. So did this harken back to those days of just creating for creating sake? Or was there a emotion behind it? Or just a "listen, I need to get busy with myself"?
Doug Friedman 11:18
I mean, the the the exhibitions were what you know, they there was there was an end goal for the exhibition was to, sell art was to make that money was to broaden my appeal as, as a photographer. It was all different, even if it was something as simple as you know, setting a table, you know, for my for my lunch or my dinner, which is something that I would do and I would set beautiful tables for myself. Mm hmm. And that was a creative process because it required, you know, a lot of thought and effort and then you had to put it away and I created the chicken farm and I enlisted friends and that was never the project that was, you know, it's not, it's not your average chicken farm over there. There's something special to it. And, you know, people got involved and helped me and created things for it. And, you know, no one asked to be compensated in any other way, except maybe to have a chicken named after that.
Mindy Cohn 12:09
Okay, the cutest? I love that. Yes. No. And I relate to that, obviously, with my farm experience and expertise with the goats!
Doug Friedman 12:17
Mindy Cohn 12:18
yes, I you know, and also, you know, it's it's the place for me where I legitimately lose track of time. That's why I think I love it so much. Because I'm always very well aware of time and my next project and what I'm doing and all that jazz. Does where you grew up, inspire or has added to your aesthetic?
Doug Friedman 12:37
Absolutely. I was born and raised in New York City, on the Upper West Side to incredible parents. I had a great education, New York, New York, I mean, New York was amazing place to grow up. And you had everything at your fingertips if you wanted to go see art. I mean, the greatest museums where there. you explored, I mean, everything the good and the bad, you know? It's the school of hard knocks, it wasn't all easy. You get mugged...like things happen. But I think I think because I was exposed, and now I'm thinking, you know, I was exposed to so much growing up in New York and going to this, this all boys prep school, and I didn't know then how much that experience would follow me into my adulthood, and how it would affect who I work with how I work, people's perceptions, being really honest here when people's perceptions of me because, like, who's this guy with the mustache and all the tattoos, but there's a certain class of people that are like, well, it's okay because, we went to this school. And I kind of like oh my god, I'm totally pulling the wool over their eyes. But you know, that's kind of has informed, you know, where I am now. And good and bad. Yeah. Does that make sense?
Mindy Cohn 13:49
Yeah, well, it does because I went to private school. So I sort of lead the same way. I'm incredibly underestimated very often, and I don't lead with my education or my travels. And I mean, all of a sudden you start talking and they're like, oh, for pete's sake, you know. So I do identify very much with what you just shared. And that that's, it's unusual. It's rare. your upbringing.
Doug Friedman 14:10
And then when you say like when you mentioned the name of the school, right, but that's when it drops. in Harvard, you're like, Yeah, what? And then and then you're part of this like weird secret and what it is anyway, so it hasn't, I mean, that's one side of growing up in New York. That's kind of my present now. And now as you know, I live in I live in the West Texas desert and in a very small town, but you know, it can't be any more opposite than what New York City is. So constantly think I get, I get nostalgic, I think about you know, what does it mean for me to be a new a New Yorker, a New York Jew, you know, living in the West Texas, desert
Mindy Cohn 14:50
testicle is what it is.
Doug Friedman 14:52
People look at me like I would have looked at someone with a cowboy hat and a gang. If they left off. You know, it's done way in New York, too. It was like, people, right? See me like some guy at the post office here in town a couple of months ago is like where you live? As like I live in Marfa. He was no you don't. I was like, No, I live here in Marvel. Where are you from? I was like, near. you're one of those people that ruin this place. And I was like, Oh my god, like his perception of me just hearing that. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 15:20
such a shame. Because if you do, I mean, I know and I'm an on so your periphery, how much you cherish and adore and cultivate that piece of property that you've purchased. I mean, you know, every town in America would want you to be a part of of their town based on how much you cherish.
Doug Friedman 15:38
Yeah, you know, there. It's a small town that's been kind of you know, it's changed course in the last couple of years. I even think it's kind of a bit insane. During COVID Oh, really? Yeah. It's been like, you can't even go to a restaurant. There's just so many and there's so many people this was a place where you it cultivated, you know, tourists that were interested in art. Right. That's it You came because you wanted to see the art and we had like 10 thousand visitors a year. You know, before COVID there were there were 70,000 visitors, most of them had never heard of Donald Judd or Dan Flavin or john Chamberlin, right? And so they're like, you know, get wasted. And selfies. And so that was layer of kind of interest in this little town. Good and bad. But during COVID when this place shut down, and the tourists went away, yeah, and we got to what this felt like eight years ago, which was really nice. Yeah. to like, bump into someone at the post office and talk for 45 minutes.
Mindy Cohn 16:29
I love that.
Doug Friedman 16:30
Yeah, small town like Mayberry or it's this idea of Mayberry. It's kind of perfect sometimes Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 16:35
no, I I echo that as far as Sharon Springs is concerned, different locale but very similar in feeling Um, so talk to me a little bit and and share with everybody the trajectory from post-college you go out to LA, you work in film, you're an assistant, you're around it, and then you decide I want to know what made you decide to go I'm finished and I'm now going to travel the world.
Doug Friedman 17:02
I graduated with it, I was gonna make documentary films, I happen to start working with a brilliant, brilliant man called David Fincher on seven, and I was there with him for a couple of years and fight club the game, it was a really amazing time to be with a mate like so as a young aspiring director, I find myself you know, working with the greatest director at the moment great, the greatest projects of the time when the greatest freedom that a director could possibly have and I watched as this brilliant man still struggled to kind of navigate gaps done what he got done. And I was like, if it's so hard for this guy, I can't remember how awful it would be for me, right so we got and then I got like, I kind of left working with David with the intention of leaving on to travel like quickly briefly got a job working as a starting a division for talent management at our production company. And my first meeting was with Vin Diesel. Oh my gosh, we said we had lunch and I went back to the office went to my boss. I was like, I don't think he's gonna know I didn't have that. So anyway, so I sold everything I owned everything I bought a one way ticket to Southeast Asia. My brother was living on a small island in Indonesia teaching scuba diving. Oh, okay, so small island like no electricity like an oxcart with a generator it was, you know, dirt floors, amazing, painfully tremendously beautiful. And I spent some time there with him scuba diving, and then I spent almost a year backpacking and taking pictures but also kind of slowing down like slowing down. Yeah. And I came to New York after kind of getting a little ill. And New York was was such It was such a culture shock. I came back to New York.
Mindy Cohn 18:51
So this is now this is now 90s what
Doug Friedman 18:54
time 98 Okay, maybe he came back had This is like really culture shock like, Oh my god, I don't. So I immediately I flew back to India and spend another six months climbing mountains in the Himalayas and mouth by doing a call and you know, sleeping above barns for $1 a night, you know, anticipating I wanted to recapture what I had learned. Yeah, you know, this on this trip and this is a time before cellphones and right like I had a camera and books and like mini disc, the mini disc player and everything that you would have in your phone was this massive thing right would have to carry a mountain it was
Christian Brescia 19:32
Doug Friedman 19:34
Telegraph's from India to my parents, so they knew where I was, oh my god,
Mindy Cohn 19:38
I love that.
Doug Friedman 19:39
Wow. When I came back up to the first time I lost everything I had learned it was because of New York was so aggressive. And so I went back in and I wanted to be able to come back to New York a second time, knowing what to expect and how to react back to New York, love it, but also hold on to all the incredible things that I have. had experienced and learned about myself traveling.
Mindy Cohn 20:02
Yeah. And I have to say the city itself, you know, changed. I mean being there in, you know, the 80s and early 90s. Very different city when you come back in the late 90s, early 2000s. At least it was for me.
Doug Friedman 20:15
Yeah, it was it was so much. A lot of work. I think a lot of the the inspiration what made me work so inspiring that it was, you know, the Upper East Side was different than the Upper West Side. And then it was so high, which I wasn't allowed to go to every neighborhood.
Mindy Cohn 20:29
Exactly, exactly. I mean, no, that kind
Doug Friedman 20:31
of, you know, it's all of it's become like one, one great city. Mm hmm. Horrible just now and yeah, so I came back after that second trip, and I never considered being a photographer. But I'd spent my time in, in Asia and Southeast Asia and Nepal and India, traveling, taking pictures, and in ex of mine was very kind and helped me get a job was yo Ben Simone. Remember, it was a photoshoot with Bridget hall for top model magazine. Wow. And there were one or two assistants. I was the fifth and they were shooting for life. I felt I was so like, Oh my god, this is incredible. Yeah, that was my first job as a photo assistant. And then I immediately got a job and this is so weird. I was Julia Roberts lighting, like technical adviser on the strip mall.
Christian Brescia 21:17
Yeah, that's right. Like he was a fashion photographer.
Doug Friedman 21:19
So I pretended like I was buying expensive cameras. And they taught me we made how to like load cameras, and use everything. And then I went to set to teach Julie Roberts how to do it. Amazing. And then he asked me for assistance for like a couple of days. Yes. And that's where I think my level of photography started or at least then I knew that I could actually make a living as a photographer I could, I could take pictures and travel and meet people and see things and But
Mindy Cohn 21:46
you knew immediately that you I mean, you had to have known that you have an eye. I mean there there are people who are meant to do to be behind the camera
Doug Friedman 21:54
period never thought about really much later. I I didn't know what I do. Seeing or how to see things I you know assisted I decided to assist I remember to assist photographers, travel photographers, fashion photographers, interior photographers catalog photography. I wanted to assist everyone and learn everything and I gave myself four years. And I didn't magazines and I wouldn't look at fashion. I didn't want to be inspired by I didn't want to think that I was appropriating because we're Fincher, there was a collection of incredibly brilliant directors. Oh, yeah. That were great appropriators you know, Mark Roman at Cal. Yeah, enjoy beautiful work, but they were also inspired by imagery. And they got called out, yeah, I didn't want to hold out for being inspired by Terry Richardson's work or somebody else. And it wasn't until, you know, I don't know, like, you know, maybe 12 years ago, like well into my past being an assistant. Well, it really that I was finally like, like, you know, it's published enough. I can see my work and I could recognize my work and then I would You know, then I would look at like Annie Leibowitz, you know, photograph and go to do a portrait of someone, Hillary Clinton, whoever and think I'm gonna do it at any level, which type of picture and I couldn't do it, it would always look like my picture.
Mindy Cohn 23:13
Thank God. I say no and I love Andy but right. I mean, I love your poker face. That's what
Doug Friedman 23:17
kind of that's what I was like, oh, I've got like, that must be my eye. Yeah, yeah, I can't copy someone else's work because it's never like I could put a hard flash and a small camera and take a picture of someone against a white wall. And it's not going to look like Terry Richardson's work. And that's where I realized it's something else. It was something it wasn't a tool. It wasn't a thing. Right. It was the it was there. It was here. It was completely different that, you know, was involved. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 23:43
Yeah, very, I'm gonna take a little break and give you guys a chance to catch your breath. Take a little drink in you too. Just to remind all of our listeners and our viewers that if you like what you're seeing or hearing head to Monday's with Mindy calm. We will have all the show notes and more information about Douglas that you can find some of his work there some of the things that he's working on. We might even be able to get some pictures of the chickens to put up on the site for you. And just as a reminder in general, if you are watching us on YouTube, please give us a thumbs up. If you like what you're seeing. Click the subscribe button hit the little bell to be notified whenever we release a new episode, which is every Monday at 11am. And like I said, if you want to learn more about our guests, Douglas he will have information on the website. He's also our honorary sponsor for this week's episode, his new book, which is called cooking in Marfa, welcome, we've been expecting you. It's pretty amazing. He shot some incredible photographs for that book. We will have that on the website as well. So you can click an order it on Amazon if you'd like to get a copy for yourself. Great. Thank you. Thank you. Well, I mean, did you ever think you'd be a sponsor? Come on.
Doug Friedman 24:42
Mindy Cohn 24:45
when did you finally absorb that you had a certain level of success and a certain you you are desired and wanted by not only people who want you to take their pictures But obviously your work in interiors is spectacular. I mean, I'm at a loss for words, which, you know, that's really my that's rarely I'm rarely at a loss for words. beautiful, gorgeous. Um, when when do you get into you and is set Don't laugh me God damn it on a cellular level that it's like oh no I I am Douglas Friedman.
Doug Friedman 25:21
I kind of don't know if Do you ever just feel kind of weirdly like fraudulent like, Oh my god, I can't believe I've been fooling them all year
Mindy Cohn 25:30
president. I still
Doug Friedman 25:32
I know. I know. I'm aware. I know. I take a good picture. I'm not like I know. I've worked really really, really hard. I love what I do. I know that the product that I I know that's good. I know that there's a nice kind of equation of what I do and how I talk and equals something that people want. I like to joke like I did before that I'm just a humble chicken farmer from West Texas. But I moved to West Texas, I moved to the middle of nowhere and you know, I have chickens at a junkyard down the down the road and, and I need that I need that because I think that the shutdown came at a really important time for me because I was getting so tired and I thought that my work was suffering and working so so much that I wasn't even able to kind of keep up with the post production in the pre production and it was no longer it was no longer that enjoyable. It was like a slog, and my my eyes were literally getting tired. I didn't know what I see. And I was questioning my work, the quality of my work, the look of my work. And so to slow down, and you know, and you know, and it's kind of, you know, disappear from everything and a moment to just and I love it. I look back with nostalgia and and I wish I had a and I wish I could go back to the three months I'll never have that three and a half months ago. But again, like coming back from India the second time I want to move forward and not work Every single day and you know build in time to in enjoy like the simpler things you know a walk like things that I would never thought I wanted to do 10 years ago Right,
Mindy Cohn 27:10
right. Do you say no? I'm starting to interesting Yeah. Because when we met I mean that a little bit of a kindred spirit in that you not only love what you do but you just are ready to go at any moment. There's that Gypsy quality that I think a lot of creatives have that we you know you embrace it but at some point you do have to sort of an age thing to you realize there's more Yeah,
Doug Friedman 27:33
and this Yeah, there's more than this
Mindy Cohn 27:35
even though it feeds your pocketbook your feelings of success and self worth and all that but you have never been you have never been someone who strikes me as I am what I do, which I love about you because I think a lot of artists in your mill you feel that way. It's like, I am what I do. It's it's all of me. It's all there is to me, you do not present that way to me at all which I love that about you
Doug Friedman 28:00
There's so there's so much to do and experience and enjoy. Yeah and understand them contemplate and discover and you know, I you know I when I came to I drove to Marfa yesterday from from Austin, Texas and you know, picking the road you know that was six hours and 15 minutes for the other road that went way out of the way but it was a two lane blacktop and it went like through this incredible reservoir in the palm of Mexico. It took nine hours and that's the road I chose nice. It was like my mind was so activated I'd never seen I mean nine hours on a two lane blacktop. It's incredible. Yeah, yeah, no, nobody. Yeah, except incredible weirdos that you mean like,
Mindy Cohn 28:44
I can only imagine. I mean, I can't even Yeah, it's like something out of Central Casting. I'm sure.
Doug Friedman 28:53
I'm out of Central Casting. The background in the story, bear the stars and those people that are
Mindy Cohn 28:59
here. Are you? Are you ever um could you ever be loaded back into filmmaking? is there is there something in your heart because I think I would love to be directed by you.
Doug Friedman 29:11
I started directing like I started directing small clips for you know for like the Golden Globes for Instagram And yes, born people have been asking for more and you know, and I and I found that I have some like, you know, some good chops for some improv and comedy which, which is so strange because I'm so rigid and weirdly specific about every little thing when you're working.
Mindy Cohn 29:37
Doug Friedman 29:40
And so, um, so I'm trying to do more of that died nice to kind of step away from a set of tools and you know, and kind of embrace a new way of, of creating images like touching the camera. Yeah, be the Creator, you know, stepping back and and, you know, and working with someone else. dp reps insane and knowing what you want and then discussing and communicating how to make it better, but it's a really like as a photographer, you know, you work you're pretty much you work alone, at least the type of photography I do. It's me and my, in a designer and most of the time, which has served me really well, but I actually have enjoyed the experiences where like, I'm in charge of like 25 people.
Mindy Cohn 30:25
Yes. Your helmsmen? Absolutely.
Doug Friedman 30:28
Yeah. And, and I kind of did good at it. So yeah, I believe it your question? I'm going to do some Okay,
Mindy Cohn 30:34
good that that excites me. I Okay, so now I'm tacking a little bit when you walk into No, because I don't know how to ask this without it sounding so like fan girly? How do you walk into a room and know how to photograph it the way that you do? Yes, there are beautiful rooms that I can walk into. But if I were to take a picture of it, it would not look it wouldn't have the emotion. elicit the emotion that yours do.
Doug Friedman 31:01
I mean, again in the beginning when I didn't know what my eye like what saw or was, you know, I would walk in and I would like maybe I'd be a little insecure and maybe I'll try from that side or I'll go over there maybe I should be a little lower and I don't do that anymore. Now I walk in, I'm like, Oh, that's it. Wow, I've learned to trust them and I think that only comes with with age and instinct and tool Hard Knocks maybe it's like you Yeah, I guess my judgment now when it comes a lot of things when it comes to people when it comes to work when it comes with things I photograph and I just I kind of know that at 47 what I what I like and how we want to see it. And that's what people I think that's what you know, people hire me for Yeah, is confidence is it's not overconfidence. I don't want you to think that I'm like this arrogant pregnant like my way but
Mindy Cohn 31:55
I don't and I never would be
Doug Friedman 31:58
open to suggestion If you tried it from here, and I was like, Oh, I would never do that. That's really great.
Mindy Cohn 32:06
Well, I have to say you're you're not your latest photographs, but this series that you just did on this boat. Oh, yeah, she's gorgeous Christmas, Nicholas Friedman. I mean, I'm not even I didn't even bore you out of my loins. But I was so proud. I mean, this, this, I mean, just what I saw, which was obviously not all of it, or the or what's going to be published, but maybe, but again, it would be a vessel I would go upon, I would be awed and inspired and overcome and probably have a little bit of a weep at the beauty but you were able to capture the things that I would have walked right by or glanced over. So like I was,
Doug Friedman 32:42
again, this is one of those This is
Mindy Cohn 32:45
what led ship was it what kind of
Doug Friedman 32:47
it was it was a 1929 steam that belonged to a Jewish robber baron in San Francisco, and it's been sitting derelict for decades and some Dear Dear friends of mine in England. They they do took possession of it five years ago, they they took down they also took a derelict shipyard in I think Liverpool or somewhere and they use all of the old wood they spent you know five years restoring this to wow and even more incredible like there's there's no class I
Mindy Cohn 33:18
love these people by the way whoever they are, I love them already.
Doug Friedman 33:21
phonics, you know, anything that might even all the radar equipment is hidden in those smokestacks. It's really spectacular, wonderful, lovely people that that did it justice and but I was but this was a situation where the the magazine I was working with cabana, which is a beautiful magazine, they have a very specific and different point of view then that I used to, you know, they like honestly, they would have been happy if I took 10 pages of photographs of just the rope and the cleat, right so I approach the The assignment Thank you Okay, well, it's not it's not it's not the big shot every time like man, like go into the detail that you would never think to and I worked with an incredible editor and friend, Gian Luca Longo, you know, and it was his voice, you know, what about this? Or maybe you should try. Wow. And it's not the easiest thing to do to you know, to ask or direct a photographer that can be stubborn, but, you know, we worked well together and I and I'm so proud of those pictures because it feels like a departure from what I would normally do receipt like the food photography in the book. Yes. You know, it's not normally do now but I love doing it. And you know,
Mindy Cohn 34:41
they're, they're beautiful, beautiful photos. And it really it really does tell the story of Marfa in such a beautiful way of people who've never been there. It's stunning. So are you very jealous, are you? I can only imagine. So are you are you ready to hit the gas again? I mean, is it are people ready for photos? No sheets and back to normal pneus quote unquote, what's the deal in your, your area of the industry?
Doug Friedman 35:06
Um, I hit the gas. I've been I've been I've been working I you know, Texas opened, you know, some before. And so I was I did a shoot here in Texas for instyle magazine, but it was just me, they sent everything I did a shoot and, and then I moved on to Austin and I shoot there in a home and you know, and you kind of go with the new new directive
Mindy Cohn 35:29
that's gonna ask you what are the changes that you've had to make?
Doug Friedman 35:32
You know, it's like you You really streamline the crew. It's only you know, the necessary people you you kind of generally you know, ask where people have been so your own way of interview will and yeah, and masks and I in mass for me is, you know, you're, you're communicating something you know, to everyone around you, that you that you that you've had lost in your life that you respect, other existence, hell ends So I wear my mask everywhere. Yeah, even when I have to but I do cuz I want people to know that I which can be challenging Bravo. You know, you know West Texas fairly conservative. I'm sure I wear the mask and it becomes very political,
Mindy Cohn 36:15
Doug Friedman 36:16
Yes, unfortunately that's become part of it. But But yeah, I'm working. I've been on airplanes, and I've had incredible experiences on planes. Thank you JetBlue for for an incredible crew. I mean, the cleanest plane I've ever been on. And the and even Alaska Airlines, everyone has been so careful about where you sit, who's around you. Mm hmm. And even like the flight attendants to have them set, you know, different flights. You know, the gist was we got to be on this thing every day. We don't want to write so we always clean. Excellent. So continue to be selfish, everyone that works in the air because it keeps us safe. And it's been nice. It's been nice to kind of to slowly get back into it. Yeah. And I will I will continue to, you know, work. And until I am told that I can't or it just doesn't feel right. You know, we're all responsible. I don't think that it's possible to just stop everything. Yeah, forever till, like my parents like, you shouldn't be working right. I was like, but I but I you know, I can't I like either Mom and Dad, I can't. I can't sit in the house and ingredients and you know and go in the yard or go to the beach with the dogs. You they can't. You don't have to. They don't have to go to rain right to survive. I kind of do to survive.
Mindy Cohn 37:42
Yeah, I feel that way as well. I simply adore you. Thank you for joining us on Monday. So it's Monday. I hate saying goodbye. I feel the same way but till soon I always say because I will squeak I will squeeze your person very soon. You're such a gift. You inspire me. Every picture that you take Thank you, forevermore.
Doug Friedman 38:02
adore you. Thank you. For this. It was It was so fun. This was so nice. It was great meeting you. And yeah, seeing you Monday.
Mindy Cohn 38:09
Yeah. Thank you for joining us. This is pretty spectacular. I have to say. I mean, the photos are pretty amazing as an orphan. Yeah. It's pretty spectacular too. I know. It's the art or Doug. Yeah.
Doug Friedman 38:20
Well, so much. Thank you. Thanks, Mike. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 38:23
I have to say Doug is one of my clients who's a pretty big deal in interiors and does a lot of design and I help her with all of her technical, whereas in Lowe's and all that stuff, she regularly posts images on her Instagram that she's inspired by. And when I was looking through your Instagram, I saw several that you had taken that she has, you know, on her own accord shown to others as inspiration so kind of small world but it's kind of amazing. I thought she does. Well, thank you again for joining us. It was such a pleasure having you. Ladies and gentlemen. Once again, Douglas Friedman Okay, Mindy, that was a that was a very interesting conversation. What did she say? Yeah, he's an incredible incredible artists truly Yeah. I mean you could even tell just his his aesthetic by the room surrounding him and how he appeared in his presence on camera. I mean, it's it's it was very visually appealing to say the least. Yeah. Well the fact that two of his best friends are you know, Kevin Sharkey and Martha Stewart right he pays attention to detail he's he's as much into that for himself. Yeah, as the pictures he takes. Yeah, I mean, it's stunning, stunning stuff. I hope I hope our listeners and our viewers check him out on Mondays with money.com. Again, you can subscribe on every major Podcast Network there if you'd like to listen to us regularly. If you prefer to watch us we are on youtube.com as well and there's quick link on Mondays with Mindy calm. We will also have information about his new book which is again called cooking in Marfa. Welcome. We've been expecting you as a newly released as some incredible photographs. I would also encourage our guests and our listeners to take a look at his Instagram because it's It's truly awe inspiring. And I mean, a great, I don't think he really patted himself enough on the back to talk about how brilliantly talented he is and how special that AI is that he is able to capture things with. Thank you for introducing him to me and to all of our listeners and viewers. We will look forward to talking with our next guest next week. Yep. So once again, signing off. Thanks again for joining us have a good one.