The Out100 is a long, complicated project that involves hundreds and hundreds emails, phone calls, logistical details, favors, and friends. All the hard work pays off when we share the portfolio of images with readers and fans.
One solitary photographer, this year Danielle Levitt (along with her team), photographs every honoree all over the country—and the world. We flew back and forth between the coasts, and even had a stint in Paris to capture all the folks included in this year's Out100. During the long, exhausting (yet fun-filled) days of photo shoots, all bets are off as we have a gay ol' time. For example, actor Maulik Pancholy got to meet RuPaul's Drag Race winner (and reality TV star) Jinkx Monsoon in a diner in Brooklyn. Two very different TV worlds colliding.
While shooting comedian and Orange is the New Black TV star Lea DeLaria at the Oyster Bar in New York City's Grand Central station, a young fan happened to walk by. "A mini-me!" DeLaria shouted, dragging the young woman over to be photographed. "Isn't she fierce?" her mother, who was standing off to the side, but glad to lend her daughter to the shoot, remarked. Yes, we think this young Jodie Foster has star power just waiting to be unleashed on the world.
Actor Billy Porter (left) was the third person we photographed on the first day of shooting on July 2, 2013. Here he is taking a break in the dressing room of the 13th Street Repertory in New York City. Architect and designer Becca McCharen (far right) was joined by her romantic and business partner Christine Tran during the shoot in Fast Ashleys Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
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We had no idea how actor and activist George Takei would react to us wanting to dress him in the silk robe and pants by Dries Van Noten. "He never looked so butch," his husband and manager Brad Altman quipped. He was having such a great time, he even allowed Out's photo director, Greg Garry (above, with beard), to join him on the rug for a little candid shot.
While in Los Angeles photographing cover star Wentworth Miller, the team—photographer Danielle Levitt (left), Out's Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin, and Out's Fashion Director Grant Woolhead—joined him for a group shot.
They always say don't work with children or animals and we happened to have a little bit of both (our youngest honoree, Jazz, turned 13 the day after her photo shoot in New York City). Probably one of the most complicated shoot days was with 83-year-old Edie Windsor (she wasn't the oldest honoree this year, that title goes to 87-year-old David Knapp, one of the three Boy Scouts we photographed) who was instructed to clutch and free a series of doves. "We had the bright idea to hire doves for the Edie shoot," explains Levitt. "The bird keeper, a very stubborn man from Staten Island who would only enter the location once paid in cash, loomed over the set threatening to leave with his birds because we were taking too long!" Luckily no birds—or heroic lesbians—were harmed in the course of the shoot.