A part of my mission in photography is to become the Best Portrait Photographer NYC has to offer. Adrian Ellis, the gentleman in this portrait, had a mission too – of founding his own successful cultural strategy consulting firm. He achieved that in 1991 when he started AEA Consulting. Why did he decide to step away from it? That is story this portrait tells. It is always a privilege to be a part of something bigger than you. That is especially true when you are keenly aware that your own contributions, coupled with those of the many other stakeholders involved, will go a long way in ensuring the project’s success. Ellis knows very well what that feels like. He took the decision to leave AEA Consulting in order to be a part of something potentially bigger. In 2007, he became the Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC). That organization holds as its main mission “to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy.” By all accounts, that is exactly what Ellis helped it to do. His tenure with JALC has consistently been lauded as one which bolstered the organization’s growth and stability. He, however, left the post in 2012 to return to AEA, making the observation, “I’ve had an absolute blast,” with regard to the time he spent at JALC. As one of the Best Portrait Photographers in NYC, my aim with this portrait was to tell as much of Ellis’s JALC experience as possible in a single image. We see him standing in the JALC’s Allen Room – a medium-sized concert hall with amazing acoustics and a clear 50-by-90-foot wall of glass behind the performers. Ellis is shown as a component of the room – he is neither the centerpiece nor is he overshadowed by it. He is simply a seamless and integral part of it all. This pretty much reflects the style of his leadership while he was with the JALC.
Location: Manhattan, NY.