A selfie with Taylor Swift Photo by Brian Hester
Brian Hester’s life started on a cold winters day in 1965 in beautiful downtown Newark, NJ. Then he grew up. Worked his way through night school, while employed as a union lineman, IBEW Local 827 for NJ Bell, Bell Atlantic, Nynex, and Verizon. Graduated Rutgers. Graduated NJIT. Managed disaster recovery as manager for Verizon. retired after 20 years. Sold serviced office space in NYC for 5 years and later served as Field Supervisor of Public Safety for the Times Square Alliance.
He has worked as a freelance news and sports photographer for the pat 10 years covering events such as the Halloween Bike Path Attack to Parades to A List Parties, A+After Parties, Broadway Openings, The latest NYC Art Openings to the fire at Notre Dame in Paris last April. Currently, I operate a small business, Brian Behind The Lens, offering photo tours of NYC, Photo lessons, and head shots.
His photo of the fire at Notre Dame in Paris last April went around the world.
T2C: How are you dealing with home containment in NJ/NYC
Brian Hester: Over the first few weeks, I was not doing well. I am dealing much better now. I found myself in a rut, laying on the couch all day and eating everything I could touch. One day Ii realized, I have to set a schedule and stick to it. Now I get up, exercise, create, exercise some more, call people, and take tons of pictures. When the bleach suggestions started I had to immediately curtail my cell phone usage to avoid severe depression. Enough said.
T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lock down between working Broadway Theatre in NYC and taking photos in my yard
Brian Hester: Well the Broadway starts are always very pleasant I find it much harder to get humming birds to poses properly. The humming birds are starting to learn, recently, I have trained them to stand on their marks.
T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?
Brian Hester: Tons of cool pictures. Jets. Not the NY Jets, all sports still canceled, real US Army & Navy Jets. Animals. People. The Moon. Painted. no, not the artistic kind, painted the garage and the laundry room. Some sort of chipmunk died up inside the wall. Had to tear the wall down. clean it up. re-insulate sheet rock, painted it all up good as new. My friends at IATSE would be proud. Installed new breakers & outlets. Chainsawed down some dead trees and pruned my rose bushed. Hung all the bird houses and the humming bird feeders.
T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing
Brian Hester: Nothing. Still same 24 hours inn the day.
T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?
Brian Hester: Empathy. For those that have lost loved ones to this beast. For the nurse, for front line workers and for the people that don’t have the means to self-isolate in comfort.
T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be?
Brian Hester: A1-mine, Soon You’ll Get Better – Taylor Swift, I forgot that you existed – Taylor Swift, Don’t stop believing – Journey
T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?
Brian Hester: We will get through this. It may be a few months or a few years but eventually we will be back in Times Square on NYE watching the Ball Drop.
T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self quarantined?
Brian Hester: No rush to jump back. Will wait for a few weeks after quarantine is lifted before I get back out there. I think walking around NYC will be first.
T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?
Brian Hester: Family and Taylor Swift. Listen to Taylor all day, every day. She is the best.
T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?
Brian Hester: My most incredible Broadway moment. Also you can see my work at brianbehindthelens.com. Attention to all those who need a photo taken, reach out to me. I love capturing life.