JUNE 2009 – One of my Favourite Flare Shoots

Celebrity wrangling was one of the toughest (frustrating, time-consuming) jobs at Flare so I was always thrilled when we landed a great subject. We had been chasing Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas for months (could we shoot her in Goa, India? or Los Angeles? How about Japan?) so were thrilled to hear she would be in Toronto for the Much Music Video Awards in 2007. But the most excited person was my 14 year old stepson Julian. To say that he was obsessed with her and BEP was an understatement.

Fergie with Julian. Photography, Max Abadian. Fashion Director, Elizabeth Cabral.

On the day of the shoot in Toronto, I told Julian that he could meet her and then we would leave. I didn”t want to distract from the shoot or annoy Fergie at any cost. An hour after the scheduled arrival time (pop stars are almost always late) the doors flew open and two fridge-sized bodyguards lumbered in followed by a petite Fergie dressed in leathers and her team. I stepped up to introduce myself and as she shook my hand, she peered behind me at the red-faced fidgeting teen. “Who”s the little dude?” she demanded. As I was making my apologies (“we”re just about to leave!”) she pushed me aside and introduced herself to him, telling him he could stay as long as he liked. And over the next five hours, Fergie chatted with him between shots, asked his opinion on the outfits our Fashion Director picked for her, and borrowed his laptop.

October 2007, Photography Max Abadian. Art Director Tanya Watt

Fergie is one of the most professional pop stars that I worked with at Flare. She was focused on the shoot and considered herself part of the team. Fergie loved the clothes (her publicist was majorly relieved) and took Liz”s advice on everything she wore. Before hair and makeup started, she asked Max to take test shots of her in each outfit. Most stars won”t allow a camera within 10 feet before they”re fully made up. And she continued with the shoot long after her scheduled rehearsal time at Much Music – she wanted to be sure everyone was happy with the results, including Julian.

Julian”s one-of-a-kind Flare cover

After her last shot, I asked Fergie if she would mind taking a shot with Julian. She even kissed him on the cheek! I thanked her privately for being so kind to him. Her response: “Are you kidding??! Julian is so special and important to me because he”s my fan. That means the world to me.”

Tanya and the art department at Flare created this one-of-a-kind cover for Julian. I especially love the “She”s Fergalicious” line! His Dad framed it, and ten years later, Julian is embarking on a career in music management. Let”s hope he discovers the next Fergie!