A portrait that led to the Dr. Phil show.

Posted by Jerry Avenaim on November 18, 2008 – 8:04 pm
Dr. Phil as photographed for Newsweek Magazine

Dr. Phil as photographed for Newsweek Magazine

As you might have read in a previous article, I photographed Dr. Phil for the cover of Newsweek. Since that first cover shoot I have also photographed both Dr. Phil and his wife Robin for several other magazine and book covers.

The experience is always one of joy and fulfillment with truly wonderful people.

One rule I’ve always held firm since I was starting out as a fashion photographer is to get fashion models their prints, and get them there quickly.

Ever since my early fashion days and now in my celebrity career, I’ve always sent gift prints to the people I photograph. Without exception, every celebrity I have ever photographed, I have made certain to send a signed gift print direclty to them and or their publicist.

Well, on this specific occasion, I thought hey, since Dr. Phil tapes his show daily on the Paramount lot, I would just drop the prints off personally, which I did.

I stopped by during a taping of the show one afternoon, and during a commercial break, I presented the prints backstage to Dr. Phil personally. He was so gracious and grateful he called over his wife Robin and many of his staff including his executive producer. After viewing the prints (there were two) he asked me if I would mind if hed showed them to the audience. I said “sure no problem, I would be honored.”

Well as he came back from commercial break with the clam-shell case holding the prints under his arm, he began talking to the audience (and all of America) about what he was about to show, the next thing I knew, the man called me out!

It was a gracious act of kindness by Dr. Phil, and something he didn’t have to do. But it was also a moment I will never forget as long as I live. I hope the portrait will become a part of Hollywood history, because this video is a part of mine.

Jerry Avenaim

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2 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. Deb Fujiwara Said:

    I love this video! It was truly kind of Dr. Phil to give you a moment of well-deserved spotlight and your obvious surprise is kind of charming.

    And props to you for actually managing to make a photo of that man striking.

    [Reply]

  2. 2. Jessica Said:

    Congrats on being recognized on his show like that! Your work is amazing, and I am enjoying reading through your blog.

    [Reply]

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