The magazine Fast Company is a leading business media brand that presents unique editorial focus on the latest innovations in technology, ethical economics, company leadership and design and the cutting-edge entrepreneurs who create future business. Every year the magazine produces its Annual World's 50 Most Innovative Companies issue, where it highlights new business practices and showcases the individuals who are creating the future and reinventing business practices by going beyond traditional boundaries.
For this year’s issue, one of the subjects they focused on was Cesar Conde, President of Univision Networks. Univision is the largest Spanish-language TV network in the United States. It is available on cable and satellite with local stations in over 50 markets and has the largest audience of Spanish-speaking viewers according to Nielsen ratings (Nielsen is the parent company of PDN/PhotoServe). Conde, a Miami native of Cuban and Peruvian descent and only 35 years old, has made rapid strides at Univision. His successful corporate rebranding for the network has driven the media giant to go beyond news and entertainment by taking an active lead in civic leadership for the Hispanic community
The idea for this shoot was to capture Conde’s vibrant personality against the colorful and exciting backdrop of Miami's historic Little Havana neighborhood. Fast Company’s new Photo Director Leslie dela Vega brought in a local photographer whom she knew could capture the excitement of Miami’s Cuban flair.
Dela Vega tapped Bob Croslin, a Florida-based commercial and editorial photographer, whom she had worked with at former publications, Time and Essence. Croslin has photographed extravagant hip-hop culture for magazines such as Rides, celebrity athletes for ESPN the Magazine and even chimpanzees for Smithsonian Magazine. His work goes beyond the popular hype, showing the spark of personality in every set of eyes and the grace and humility beneath the swagger of even the most. flamboyant of his subjects.
For the feature on Conde, Croslin had two different scenarios in mind. He scouted the famous Cuban restaurant Versailles in the historic Little Havana district and the intersection near the domino tables at Maximo Gomez Park. The idea for the Versailles location was to photograph Conde at their outdoor counter, always known for the crush of people ordering their renowned Cuban coffee. But to Croslin’s great surprise, Conde does not even drink coffee. His photo assistants would scoot a cup of coffee towards him and he would scoot it away. With all his lighting gear and grip equipment set up in this much trafficked area, Croslin also faced the daunting challenge of crowd control. He tried to funnel customers through the counter to show the hustle and bustle and have Conde in the middle of it all.
His second location near Maximo Gomez Park required a permit with the city, but he was not allowed to block traffic. “We planned the shoot during rush hour to capture some of the chaos of Little Havana,” says Croslin but once again what he did not plan for was the number of tour buses pulling up and dropping off tourists in front of the park. It was Disney World in the middle of his shoot. “The challenge was to try and capture a unique moment while retaining a produced look. I was able to accomplish this by having both of my assistants mobile with Profoto 600b packs and heads,” explains Croslin.
As luck would have it, the image that Croslin captured was an in-between, unplanned moment while he and Conde were walking through the congested street. Croslin was warning him about the oncoming traffic, just as a car with jeering passengers turned dangerously close to Conde. He had to quickly jump up to the curb to get out of the way, and Croslin got that shot. It was total serendipity a real Miami urban moment. The magazine loved the photo and used it to show Univision’s suave president actin being very cool and quick thinking in the midst of chaos.
Croslin’s image appeared in the March issue of Fast Company. It captured everything the magazine is about: leaders of industry who can handle tough situations and who go beyond the traditional boundaries to create new and exciting business ventures that involve the community, along with new technology and solutions.
Croslin’s work has appeared in ESPN the Magazine, Time, XXL, Vibe and other urban publications, and the photography industry has taken notice. In January 2011, PDN (Photo District News) awarded him First Place in their Best Shot Sports contest for a picture he made of Tennessee Titan Chris Johnson for Men's Fitness.
When Croslin is not photographing celebrities, sports stars and titans of industry, he spends time in the Tampa Bay area with his wife and daughter and cycles more than 150 miles a week. You can see more of the many faces of Bob Croslin’s editorial and advertising work at www.bobcroslin.com
Florian Bachleda, Creative Director
Leslie dela Vega, Photography Director
Alice Alves, Art Director
Lisa Parisi, Assistant Photo Editor
Bob Croslin, Photographer