Friday, February 15, 2008

CEO of Kahala Cold Stone

This was one of those assignments where your boss calls you two hours before and lets you know you've been assigned to shoot it. I was actually familiar with the assignment because I had read about it the night before when browsing through the photo assignments for the next day. Little did I know the scheduled photographer would become unavailable and it would become my gig.

The assignment was to take a portrait of the CEO of Cold Stone ice cream. Because of unexpected traffic coming from an earlier assignment I arrived 15 minutes late and the reporter had already begun her interview; so I got to wait. I used the waiting time to quickly tour the facility brainstorming ideas. I was told I would have 15 minutes with Mr. Blackwell. The tour was helpful and I thought of 2 ideas - take him in the ice cream store near the front and get a fun photo of him with the ice cream (the details i hadn't really worked out in my mind yet), or do a portrait near one of their 30 foot colorful, delicious photos of someone eating ice cream. When I got to meet Mr. Blackwell I quickly told him my ideas and then his PR woman informed me that in fact Cold Stone had now become Kahala Cold Stone - meaning Kahala bought Cold Stone and many other food joints and so they wanted to avoid having the CEO in a photo featuring only one of the restaurants. It turns out their building will be remodeled in a month or so and will look more "Kahala"... but as for me and my portrait... I was empty with ideas. I tried not to panic. Touring the building before hand helped me think of a few quick ideas.

At first I took him to a wall of nice looking wood doors with foggy windows and these curvy, metal handles. I later went back to his office and played with some outdoorsy photographs of himself hanging on the wall. This is what came out. I was very thankful he was so accommodating and lent me more than 15 minutes.

Kevin Blackwell, CEO of Kahala Cold Stone at his office - Photos by Geoffrey McAllister/The Arizona Republic

Ice cream maker Cold Stone Creamery and fast-food operator Kahala will combine to form a holding company that they hope will compete with private equity firms for a greater share of the fast-food sector.

The 13 brands under the new Kahala Cold Stone umbrella will include submarine sandwich shop Blimpie, cheesesteak chain The Great Steak & Potato Co., chicken sandwich maker Ranch 1 and Mexican fast-food chain Taco Time. (